Russian contract research organisation Synergy Research Group (SynRG) has formed an international alliance with Metrics Research, a CRO based in Karachi, Pakistan, as the latest step towards establishing a global network capable of competing for large international multicentre trials.

According to SynRG, Metrics Research is the first registered contract clinical research and site management organisation in Pakistan to provide a comprehensive range of services spanning project management, clinical operations and monitoring, data management, biostatistics, medical report writing, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, training and development programmes for clinical research personnel, and country-specific medical consultancy.

With its population of 173 million, including a “vast number” of treatment-naïve patients, Pakistan is an emerging market for clinical trials – “exactly like Russia”, noted Elena Zhuk, director general and chief executive officer of SynRG. Together with Metrics Research, “we are able to offer our sponsors access to more than 300 million patients”, she added.

As Metrics Research chief executive Khurram Zaki Khan pointed out, the Central and South Asian nexus “is pivotal in providing clinical research services to the growing, evolving and competitive R&D industry of the world”. Pakistan is “already on the radar screen” of multinational pharmaceutical companies and CROs, with a number of US Food and Drug Administration-registered Phase II and III trials already in progress.

“This ‘natural’ alliance between Metrics Research of Pakistan and SynRG of Russia will reap the benefits of this untapped market – especially at a time when the government of Pakistan and relevant ministries are promoting clinical research activities in Pakistan,” Khan commented.

The partners also intend to pursue some joint marketing and business development activities, such as presentations to existing and prospective clients as well mutual assistance with related language and “cultural translation” issues.

SynRG has previously formed global alliances with Promedica International in the US, Neeman Medical International in India, KCR in Central and Eastern Europe, and Axis Group in Ukraine.