US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Covance has further expanded its footprint in Latin America by opening new clinical development offices in Sao Paolo, Brazil and Mexico City, Mexico.

Earlier this year, Covance opened offices in Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru. Together, the new sites will support staff in their respective countries, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as the regional network of field-based clinical research associates in the region.

The CRO has been providing clinical trial support in Latin America since 1997, when its first office opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Our continued expansion in Latin America highlights the region’s growing significance in Covance's clinical development service offerings,” said Wayne Langlois, vice president and general manager of global clinical development services.

The new offices “increase our access to patients who are currently not receiving medical therapies and will enable us to shorten clinical trial cycle times for our pharmaceutical and biotech clients," Langlois added.

One clear attraction for CROs in Latin America is the sheer size of the populations involved – estimated at more than 565 million people in total across the region, with 191.8 million in Brazil alone, 106.5 million in Mexico and 39.5 million in Argentina.