Symbio, a US contract research organisation (CRO) based in Port Jefferson, New York, has rounded out its portfolio of services by opening a Phase I clinical unit in Michigan City, Indiana.

The 62-bed facility has been set up in Saint Anthony Memorial Hospital, where an entire floor is doted to Phase I clinical trials. With downtown Chicago only 45 minutes away, there is easy access to diverse populations of healthy participants, including eight local colleges/universities and technical schools, Symbio pointed out.

The CRO’s activities already ranged from clinical trial management to biometrics, strategic consulting, product development and topical formulation development. With the addition of the Phase I unit, Symbio “now has the ability to provide development from Phase I through Phase IV”, it noted.

Established in 2002, Symbio has particular expertise in working with the generic drug industry. The CRO’s Phase I clinical team “is set up to prepare and execute clinical plans to support FDA [Food and Drug Administration] approval of generic products”, it said.

Commenting recently on Kendle's acquisition of DecisionLine Clinical Research Corporation, a CRO based in Toronto, Canada and specialising in Phase I studies, president Simon Higginbotham noted that Phase I growth was expected to outpace the broader outsourcing market for clinical research at around 15% per annum.