Rho, Inc, a full-service US contract research organisation (CRO) based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, says it has boosted staffing by more than 200% in project management, clinical operations, regulatory affairs and product safety over the last 18 months.

The rapid growth in response to client demand and a strong increase in full-service sales began with the appointment of Kathie Whitesell as director of clinical operations in March 2006, Rho noted. Since then, Whitehall has tripled the company’s quotient of clinical research associates, restructured training programmes for new employees and strengthened Rho’s regional employee base so that it can better serve clients’ needs.

The result has been a “dramatic increase” in the volume of full-service contracts, particularly for ophthalmology and oncology trials, the CRO said. Whitesell also took over leadership of Rho’s product safety department, another “dynamic area of growth” and one that has benefited from increased capacity in pharmacovigilance services.

Recent additions to the team include Kristen Snipes as senior project manager, Haifa Tyler as project manager and Patrick Loebs as senior director of regulatory affairs and medical writing. Kelly Ritch has been promoted to vice president of business development and marketing, with a remit to help drive sales across the US.

Set up in 1984, Rho employs more than 350 staff in total at its sites in Chapel Hill and Newton, Massachusetts.