Ecron Acunova, the internationally-minded contract research organisation (CRO) based in Bangalore, India, has extended its reach into Southeast Asia, forming a joint venture for clinical research with Thailand’s Jamjuree Innovations Co. Ltd. (JJI).

Based in Bangkok and headed by Dr Eugene Kroon as chief executive officer, the joint venture will conduct studies in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and other key Southeast Asian markets under the name of Ecron Acunova Company Ltd (EACL).

JJI is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Chulalongkorn University Intellectual Property Foundation and has strong ties with the University’s Faculty of Medicine, including its Clinical Research Center (Chula CRC). Chula brings to the table experience in pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic testing, clinical trial laboratory services, data management and HIV research, both in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Ecron Acunova (EA) noted.

“Expanding on clinical research know-how and regional investigator networks already present in Chulalongkorn University, JJI has built expertise in regional quality clinical research over the last three years, successfully conducting clinical trials for international sponsors in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam,” commented Dr Kiat Ruxrungtham, Professor of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University and chairman of EACL.

“We look forward to further expanding this model of hands-on local study and investigator relationship management in Southeast Asia for our clients through the joint venture with EA.”

Ecron Acunova has been pushing hard on the international front of late, and the joint venture announcement came shortly after the CRO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Newcastle University in the UK, under which the two parties will look at ways of working together closely on clinical trials.

Last November, EA formed a strategic alliance with Japanese counterpart Tokyo CRO, giving the partners a reciprocal presence in these markets and others such as China and the US. A few months earlier, Ecron Acunova had announced a similar alliance with Essential CRO, establishing a clinical network that spanned Essential’s home market, the US, as well as India and 14 countries in Europe.

Commenting on the Thai joint venture, D A Prasanna, founder and chairman of Ecron Acunova, said: “We have established our expertise across Europe, India and USA as a top-quality CRO. Southeast Asia is a key market. As sponsors increasingly include Southeast Asia in drug development programmes, it is imperative for us to establish our operations in collaboration with regional experts like Chulalongkorn University”.

Through the tie-up with JJI, “our execution synergy is enhanced when operating together, rivalling the capability of any competing leading CRO in South and South East Asia”,  Prasanna added.