India’s Clinical Research Education & Management Academy (CREMA), a training and research institute for the clinical and biomedical sciences, plans to set up a fourth campus in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

The institute sees the current global recession as a further argument for outsourcing clinical trials to India, fuelling local demand for qualified clinical research professionals. According to CREMA chairman Vijay Moza, the sector has been virtually untouched by the economic downturn. “In our last batch, even before the completion of their courses, over 70% of CREMA’s students were absorbed and successfully placed in reputed companies,” he said.

The institute already runs campuses in Mumbai, Bangalore and Dehli. The new addition in Hyderabad is scheduled to come onstream in March 2009, occupying around 7,000sq ft of space and equipped with modern facilities such as Wi-Fi access and a computer laboratory. The campus will offer a one-year post-graduate diploma in clinical research, pharmacovigilance and clinical data management.

Moza described Hyberabad as a “significant destination” for clinical research and home to a number of leading pharmaceutical companies, healthcare institutions and contract research organisations. However, the city is facing a shortage of institutions offering quality education and training in clinical research, he added.

All of the programmes run by CREMA are in collaboration with UK-based William Harvey Research Ltd, a pharmacological research institute established by Nobel Laureate Sir John Vane. CREMA also offers online courses endorsed through a joint venture with Clinical Research International, a global online training company based in Toronto, Canada.

According to Dr R Nadig, deputy dean and president of operations for CREMA, some 50,000 clinical research professionals are likely to be needed in India by 2012.