Tigermed Consulting, the Chinese contract research organisation (CRO) that last month announced strategic alliances with fellow CROs LSK and OCT in Korea and Russia respectively, has set up a local subsidiary in partnership with Central South University (CSU) to conduct preclinical studies, pharmaceutical analysis and Phase I clinical trials.

The subsidiary, Hunan Tigermed Xiangya Drug R&D Ltd, will tap into the resources of CSU, its Xiangya Medical School and three affiliated hospitals. It incoporates a Drug Clinical Evaluation Centre (DCEC), a Pharmaceutical Analysis Centre (PAC) and a Drug Preclinical Evaluation Centre (DPEC).

The last of these will work mainly with CSU’s Third Xiangya Hospital in carrying out Phase I trials for new drugs, as well as pharmacokinetic and bioequivalence studies at other stages of clinical development. PAC will deal mostly with pharmaceutical analysis while the principal focus at DPEC will be pharmacokinetic (PK) screening of candidate compounds, PK studies, pharmacodynamic testing, quality specification studies and manufacturing process studies at the preclinical stage.

CSU was established more than eight years ago in Changsa, Hunan province through the amalgamation of Central South University of Technology, Hunan Medical University and Changsha Railway University. The institution is administered directly by China’s Ministry of Education.

Tigermed’s new subsidiary is part of a programme of rapid expansion launched by the CRO in July 2008 with financing from venture capital firm Qiming Ventures, it noted.