ClinTec International has underlined the growing interest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as an outsourcing region by announcing the launch of a global Academy of Clinical Research Excellence (ACRE) at this year’s PABME conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The first students have been admitted for training in International Conference on Harmonisation Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP) on the ACRE courses, which are accredited by the Dubai Health Authority. The academy’s mission is to accelerate knowledge growth and to raise the level and quality of clinical research carried out in the Middle East, said ClinTec, a global clinical research organisation based in Scotland.

“A major healthcare challenge in the MENA region has been the capacity to develop the knowledge of local investigators to levels in which they fully understand the complex nuances required in international clinical trials,” commented Dr Rabinder Buttar, chief executive officer CEO of ClinTec International.

“The most effective way to make clinical research more meaningful is to have a thorough knowledge of the processes and procedures involved in research,” he added.

The plan is to roll out training academies in other emerging markets for clinical research, such as India, China and the countries of Latin America. According to Buttar, ACRE will offer certified courses that address all the main principles of the International Guidelines on Good Clinical Practice.

PABME, the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Middle East conference, has been running since 2008 and is billed as the only major international event for these industries in the region. There are estimated to be more than 450 pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Middle East, a figure PABME says is growing dramatically year on year.