Citing a “dramatic increase” in local drug-development opportunities, INC Research has opened an office in South Korea to help clients realise the benefits of conducting clinical trials in the region.

Operating out of Gangnam-gu in the central business district of Seoul, the South Korean team led by Dr Jessica Liu, general manager, and Lee Sun-Mee, site head and associate director of clinical operations, will focus mainly on study start-ups and clinical operations activities in key therapeutic areas.

According to INC Research, South Korea has made “major progress” in establishing centres of excellence and state-of-the-art facilities for clinical trials, as well as developing a “transparent and well-organised” regulatory infrastructure with clear approval pathways.

The local INC team has formed relationships with regional key opinion leaders, accredited Korea Food and Drug Administration investigative sites and trial-centre support programmes through bodies such as KoNECT, the South Korea National Enterprise for Clinical Trials, noted the US-based clinical research organisation.

Renewed focus

“The South Korean government has renewed its focus on healthcare and clinical development, leading to a dramatic increase in the opportunities for biopharmaceutical companies’ drug development programmes,” commented Kelvin Logan, INC Research’s president, Asia/Pacific.

“Our expanded team is equipped to help customers take advantage of the benefits of conducting clinical trials in this region, while navigating through the developing regulatory environment and leveraging support resources,” Logan added.