GVK Biosciences, which provides integrated research services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies from its base in Hyderabad, India, has formed a strategic alliance with Chinese contract research organisation (CRO) Excel PharmaStudies to conduct clinical trials in their respective markets.

In what the companies billed as a “first of its kind” alliance between an Indian and a Chinese CRO, GVK Biosciences and Excel will offer support for Phase II-IV clinical trials, statistical analysis and medical writing in the two countries.

Excel trials in India will be carried out by the GVK clinical research team and managed by a core project management team at Excel. GVK Bioscience trials in China will be conducted by the Excel team and project-managed by the Indian CRO.

The alliance will give clinical trial sponsors access to the scientific skills, talent pool, flexible resourcing and cost-effective services available in China and India, the partners said, adding: “India has sponsor-friendly regulations and strength in Phase II/III clinical trials; China has strengths in its large market, Phase III and post-marketing Phase IV studies”.

Described as “Asia’s leading contract research organisation”, GVK Bioscience has a staff of more than 1,500 working at Indian research facilities in Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Gurgaon.

The company has recently tightened its focus on clinical development, hiring Dr Shoibal Mukherjee from Pfizer as its Clinical Development Head and adding new pharmacovigilance and medical writing services at its Gurgaon facility.

Excel PharmaStudies offers clinical research, registration, biometrics, training and consultation services. Claimed to be the leading CRO in China, with “more limited operations” throughout Asia, it has a staff of nearly 300 and 17 offices worldwide.