Cato Research, a full-service contract research organisation (CRO) based in Durham, US, has joined forces with Neuland, an Indian contract manufacturer of bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), to set up a CRO in the latter’s home base of Hyderabad.

The joint venture, Cato Research Neuland India, Ltd, involves Cato Research, Cato Research Israel Ltd and Neuland. Their respective shares of, and investments in, the venture were not disclosed.

According to Cato Research, the new initiative will “assist healthcare companies in efficiently bringing innovative drugs to market while using high-quality and cost-effective resources located in India”. The US company will provide business development, personnel training, senior management recruitment and implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

In collaboration with its venture capital affiliate, Cato BioVentures, Cato Research will also bring CRO services to the table, including clinical studies, data management, statistical analysis and regulatory services.

The company already has a staff of nearly 300 working in the United States, Europe, Canada, Israel and South Africa. The Indian joint venture “further allows Cato to expand its international presence and better serve our sponsors”, commented chief executive officer Dr Allen Cato. “This addition of India into Cato Research’s international network increases our ability to conduct multinational clinical trials and provide a wide range of CRO services in the international arena.”

For Neuland, the joint venture takes the company “one step closer towards our objective of becoming an end-to-end service provider for the pharmaceutical industry”, noted chairman and managing director Dr D R Rao.