US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Covance has boosted its presence in the Asia Pacific region by opening new clinical development offices in South Korea and India as well as expanding office space in Japan and China.

Citing growing demand for clinical development services in Asia Pacific, Covance said its new office in Seoul, South Korea would help the company to step up patient access in the region while supporting its network of field-based clinical research associates throughout Asia Pacific. The office in Mumbai would serve as the main support hub for clinical trials in the Indian sub-continent, it added.

The CRO has also expanded its existing clinical development offices in Hong Kong, China and Tokyo, Japan. In Tokyo that will provide extra capacity for both clinical development and central laboratory services, including sales, administration and kit customisation for the Japanese market.

Covance has been offering clinical trial support in the Asia Pacific region for more than two decades, starting out with offices in Australia and then in Singapore. The Asia Pacific operations took off quickly with the opening of a clinical development office in Beijing and a second office in Shanghai, China, providing both clinical and central laboratory services.

In all, the CRO has opened nine new offices in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe this year, significantly raising its profile in emerging markets. Four of these sites have been in Latin America. In September, Covance announced new clinical development offices in Sao Paolo, Brazil and Mexico City, Mexico. Earlier in the year it opened offices in Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru.