Two UK-based contract research organisations (CRO), Phlexglobal and ClinTec International, are making further inroads overseas.

Phlexglobal has expanded into the US market with a new office in Carlsbad, California – its first outside Europe. ClinTec has strengthened its commitment to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by opening an office in Cairo, Egypt.

Phlexglobal’s US office, Phlexglobal Inc, is headed by Aidan Nuttall, co-founder and president of drug development management organisation Abingdon Life Sciences – which opened an office in Carlsbad in July 2008 – and former president of CRO Chiltern International’s US operation.

Nuttall will work to extend Phlexglobal’s client base and to promote its innovative electronic Trial Master File (TMF) services, including the PhlexEview solution, the company said.

According to Phlexglobal, its move to set up a US operation follows a sustained period of growth in the UK and Europe, as well as increasing interest from current and potential US-based clients. The office opening comes only months after the company signed a “landmark” contract with UCB to implement a complete TMF management solution in the UK and the US, worth £12 million over the next five years, it noted.

ClinTec’s Cairo office follows closely on from the CRO’s announcement at the PABME conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates that it was launching a global Academy of Clinical Research Excellence with the immediate goal of raising the level and quality of clinical research carried out in the Middle East.

The new office will not only provide ClinTec’s global biopharmaceutical associates with access to new patient populations but will further consolidate the company’s reputation as a major presence in the MENA region, it said.

“The launch of the new office today cements ClinTec International’s reputation as one of the few truly global providers of quality-assured clinical research services,” commented Egypt country manager Dalia Younan. “It also reflects the growing importance of Egypt – and the wider MENA region – to the global clinical research market.”

While North America and the European Union still constitute the bulk of pharmaceutical sales and clinical research activity, Egypt and MENA are growing “at a tremendous pace and are estimated to be worth some US$10 billion currently”, added Dr Rabinder Buttar ClinTec founder, president and chief executive officer.