US-based pharmaceutical services company i3 has acquired a Russian clinical research organisation (CRO), Lege Artis, for an undisclosed sum.

Based in Moscow, Lege Artis offers a range of clinical, regulatory and medical services as well as logistics, quality assurance, training and supplemental services such as archiving, site management and medical translation.

The company will be integrated into i3 Research under the leadership of its founder and chief executive officer, Dr Tatjana Zwereva. She will continue to be supported by the Lege Artis management team, including co-founder Dr Alexander Makarkov.

The addition of Lege Artis and its capabilities in Belarus and Ukraine will give i3 Research customers enhanced access to experienced investigators in Russia and the neighbouring states of the former Soviet Union, the US company said.

Russia has the seventh largest population in the world, most of which is clustered in large cities of more than one million inhabitants, i3 noted. Moreover, the Russian healthcare system concentrates medical specialists at large hospitals and research centres committed to implementing western medical technologies.

“Russia has become a strategic geographic area in the drug development process, with well educated and experienced medical doctors and a vast population of patients who are interested in participating in clinical trials,” commented Glenn Bilawsky, chief executive officer of i3.