US-based contract research organisation (CRO) PPD continues to put its faith in the Asia Pacific region as a locus of growth and cost efficiencies in clinical research, opening new offices in the Philippines and India.

PPD said it would provide clinical management services in key therapeutic areas from the offices in Manila and Bangalore respectively, expanding its Phase II-IV offering in response to increasing client demand in Asia Pacific.

Late last year the company addressed that demand by acquiring, in quick succession, leading CRO Excel PharmaStudies and drug discovery outsourcer BioDuro in China.

“With 90 million people living in the Philippines and more than 20 million in Manila, there is enthusiasm for local expansion and involvement in clinical trials,” commented Lesley Gerrard, director of clinical management in PPD’s Melbourne, Australia office.

Denzel Benjamin, director of clinical management in the Bangalore office, noted that India was expected to conduct nearly 5% of global clinical trials by 2010. “This office provides us easy access to all of our sites across south India, which means cost savings for our clients and greater efficiencies for PPD,” he added.

Chiltern into Buenos Aires

Another contract research organisation, the UK-based Chiltern International, has pushed further into Latin America, with a new office in the Pilar suburban area of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

According to Chiltern, the state-of-the-art facilities and technology are designed to support growing client needs in Mexico, Chile, Peru and throughout Latin America, complementing the CRO's office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.