AgilityBio, an integrated contract research organisation (CRO) that will offer preclinical and clinical services in partnership with established Indian CROs, has been launched by BioImagene, a US-based company specialising in digital pathology solutions for preclinical research and cancer diagnosis.

The new CRO’s portfolio will include preclinical services and Phase I-IV clinical and diagnostic trials as well as biomarker discovery for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Positioned as a bridge between US customers and Indian service providers, AgilityBio will have the added advantage of BioImagene’s web-based digital pathology technology, providing access to image data “anywhere, any time”, its parent noted.

The aim is to “help our customers achieve their R&D goals with increased efficiency using innovative technology solutions”, explained AgilityBio’s chief scientific officer, Dr Roli Khattri. “AgilityBio is an integrated CRO,” he commented. “We are technology driven with the capability to deliver high quality services on a global stage.”

Mohan Uttarwar, chief executive officer of BioImagene, said AgilityBio would “bring about a synergy between cutting-edge digital pathology technologies and India’s vibrant pharmaceutical and CRO industry eager to work with state-of-the-art R&D methods.”

Using high-throughput techniques “is not just an incremental improvement but a major step towards easing bottlenecks and reducing time to market for drugs”, he added. “We are confident that the AgilityBio team of experienced professionals will contribute to accelerating the global drug development process.”

A recent Planning Commission report forecast that India’s clinical research market, now worth around US$300 million, could reach US$1.5 – US$2 billion by 2010.