US-based CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services has extended its speciality drug development and education services across Canada through a partnership with ASKA Research, a local company that manages and monitors Phase I-IV clinical trials in North America.

The two companies see reciprocal benefits in the relationship, which will enable ASKA to offer trial sponsors a full range of services from protocol development and regulatory consulting to data management, statistical analysis and study report writing. ASKA will also gain access to CTI’s expertise in healthcare communications and continuing medical education.

For its part, CTI will tap into “a vast pool of experienced and qualified monitoring staff located throughout Canada”, the companies noted. Sponsors will have the opportunity “to expand trials into Canada and have these trials managed by local professional staff possessing strong relationships with Canadian sites and investigators, leading to better management of trials, enhanced enrolment, and cost savings through the engagement of local monitoring staff”.

Based in Vancouver, ASKA offers quality assurance, education/training and outsourced trial management staffing services through a network of 250 established clinical research professionals.

CTI has its headquarters in Cincinnati and describes itself as a “fully integrated drug and market development company”, focused on transplantation (solid organ, bone marrow and stem cells), infectious disease, hepatitis, end-stage organ disease (heart, liver, lung and kidney), haematology and immunology.

The tie-up with ASKA is the latest in a series of global expansion moves that has included a strategic alliance with Indian contract research organisation (CRO) Neeman Medical International last December and a partnership with Australian CRO Clinical Network Services in November 2006.