US business development company AmeriStart has signed a sales and marketing contract with Eurotrials, a contract research organisation that runs clinical trials in Brazil, Latin America, Africa and Portugal from its home base in Lisbon.

AmeriStart will promote Eurotrials’ “considerable” clinical research capabilities in the North American pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets, the US company said.

A privately owned concern founded in 1995 by members of the academic and medical communities as well as the pharmaceutical industry in Portugal, Eurotrials built up its clinical research and health consultancy businesses initially in Portuguese-speaking countries, subsequently expanding in Europe and Latin America.

“Our team of experienced physicians and clinicians has conducted clinical studies for many of the top American pharmaceutical companies,” commented Eurotrials executive director Rui Melo. “Now, with a representative office and AmeriStart’s organisational support, we hope to expand and improve our standing in the US marketplace.”

Jim Worrell, chief executive officer of AmeriStart, pointed to Eurotrials’ “world-class” experience and access to Brazilian patients in the key therapeutic areas of diabetes, oncology and cardiovascular disease.

Being a well-respected and leading player in the Brazilian market, Eurotrials can often “navigate a shorter path through Brazil’s regulatory requirements and start a clinical trial sooner than you might expect”, he added. The CRO has the added benefit of a second operational center in Portugal for multicentre trials needing European data.

“They are a one-stop shop for Latin America and Southern Europe,” Worrell said.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, AmeriStart provides sales, marketing and strategic business development services to companies looking to break into, or widen their presence in, the US market.