US-based business development company AmeriStart has signed a sales, marketing and business development services contract with Associated Medical Group Ltd (AMG), a contract research organisation (CRO) formed eight years ago in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Under the agreement, AmeriStart will promote AMG’s Phase I-III clinical research services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in North America. The CRO offers substantial research capabilities in Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey, conducting clinical studies for US Food and Drug Administration and European Union approvals, AmeriStart noted.

AMG can tap into large patient populations and has expertise in infectious diseases, oncology and the central nervous system, it added. Of particular interest, said AmeriStart’s chief executive officer, Jim Worrell, is the CRO’s strategic relationship with an operational NATO hospital, giving it access to infectious disease patients including those with hepatitis C.

“They also have unique capabilities with paediatric populations,” Worrell commented. “And, because AMG understands the regulatory environments across Eastern Europe, they are often able to start a clinical trial – and recruit a full panel of patients – much more rapidly than a comparable US CRO.”

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. In August it tied up with Factory CRO, a contract research organisation based in the Netherlands and specialising in medical device studies for European and US approvals.