US-based contract research organisation (CRO) PRA International has opened an office in Munich, the company’s third in Germany.

PRA took its first steps into Europe with an office in Mannheim, Germany over 27 years ago. In June, the CRO expanded the Berlin base for its Early Development Services business in Central and Eastern Europe by relocating to a larger, more central structure in the German city. PRA acquired Pharmacon, a CRO based in Berlin and specialising in Phase I studies, in October 2007.

The new office in Munich provides access to a skilled workforce and to leading pharmaceutical companies operating in and around the city, PRA noted. The acquired space at Atrium, Riesstrasse 29 will initially house more than a dozen staff. PRA wants to push that number up to more than 20 during the next 12 months and to over 50 employees within five years.

Since establishing a presence in Europe, PRA has conducted more than 1,000 studies through its 15 offices in the region. The CRO’s European capabilities include clinical operations staff providing Phase II to Phase IV coverage to 38 European countries, a bioanalytical laboratory, two 70-bed Phase I units and a ‘virtual Phase I’ model in central Europe.