The UK-based Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) has signed a partnership agreement with the recently formed Pan-Asian Clinical Research Association (PACRA) that will further expand the Institute’s presence in the Far East while providing valuable training resources to PACRA members, the ICR says.

Established in March 2010 with headquarters in Singapore, PACRA aims to promote clinical research training and continuing professional development for clinical researchers in Asian countries.

Under the association’s agreement with the ICR, the latter’s journal, CRfocus, will be produced quarterly and rebranded as Silk Route via the PACRA website. Joint members of ICR and PACRA will also benefit from discounted ICR learning resources and training courses.

Describing itself as the largest professional clinical research body in Europe and India, the ICR said its vision was to be internationally recognised as the premier organisation in the sector.

In 2007 the Institute appointed Shamiq Hussain as its first country manager for India, based locally in Bangalore. Last year the ICR extended its reach to the Middle East by taking its training programme in clinical trials and clinical trials practice out to Saudi Arabia.

Through the Institute’s joint efforts with PACRA, it will “create a new electronic journal, with regional content, which will allow us to reach out to anyone within the Asia Pacific region and at any time”, noted interim chief executive Dr Paul Wathall.

“PACRA’s local knowledge combined with our expertise will make is a formidable team, both sharing a common goal – to raise standards, share knowledge and develop professionals,” Dr Wathall commented.