US-based contract research organisation Synteract plans to open a Central Eastern European office in Prague, Czech Republic later this summer.

Many later-stage and larger trials sponsored by US companies are becoming international, with at least some of the study sites located outside the home market, the company pointed out.

“With the pool of clinical trial patients dwindling in the United States due to the availability of good healthcare and heavy competition, an international office has become a critical offering for multiple-phase programmes,” it explained.

The new unit will offer regulatory, site management/monitoring, pharmacovigilance and project management services to clients worldwide. It will be headed by Kristi Clark, currently senior director of project management and global business operations at Synteract’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California.

Prague was chosen for its central location, friendly business environment and sound economic structure, as well as “its value as an excellent area for patient recruitment”, Synteract said. According to chief executive officer Ellen Morgan, the move is a response to request from clients for the CRO to strike out abroad.

“Our goal is to provide our clients with the same flexibility, guidance and responsive service for their multinational trials that they have become accustomed to when working with us domestically,” Morgan commented. “We decided that this year is the right time to move forward to provide the one-stop shop and broader services they need. Having Kristi on the ground in Europe will also help us to evaluate additional potential partners who fit our model.”

The new office in Prague is the first major step by Synteract in expanding its global footprint, the CRO noted. Also on the horizon are possible acquisitions in Europe and India next year and beyond.

Established in 1995, Synteract is a privately held, full-service CRO with particular expertise in oncology, the central nervous system, cardiovascular disease and ophthalmology.