ASKA Research, the Vancouver-based company that last month formed a strategic partnership with fellow Canadian contract research organisation (CRO) Clinical Development Solutions (CDS), has added to a growing roster of international tie-ups by announcing another partnership, this time with Australia’s Clinical Network Services (CNS).

The Strategic Partnership Agreement between ASKA and CNS is the first such business-to-business alliance under the Economic Research Agreement signed by the governments of British Columbia and Queensland (CNS’s home state) in June 2008. The aim was to expand and build international relations in a number of key sectors including biotechnology and life sciences.

ASKA already has several international business partners including ASKLEP in Japan, Harrison Clinical Research Group in Europe, Diverse Lynx in the US and India, and CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services in the US (which is also a partner of CNS). Founder and chief executive officer Valerie Willetts commented: “When we first launched our CRO more than a decade ago, one of our strategic goals was to build a global presence”.

Russell Neal, chief operating officer of CNS, said linking with international partners enabled the Australian CRO to leverage its early-phase focus into the later stages of product development more effectively.

“Importantly, with a partner such as ASKA, as well as other partners such as Beltas (New Zealand), CTI & Ground Zero Pharmaceutical (US) and ERA Consulting (Europe & Australia), CNS can increasingly share the knowledge that we have gained through working with a client with our partners, meaning that our clients do not have to go through that same learning curve again with others when they move to the next level in their programme,” he explained.