The Southern California Permanente Medical Group of US managed care organisation Kaiser Permanente is the latest recruit to Quintiles’ prime site programme.

Prime sites represent the highest level of the US-based biopharmaceutical services company’s relationships with clinical trial sites worldwide. They are a step above Quintiles’ partner site programme, which involves more than 1,100 high-performing, high-enrolling sites spread across 20 countries.

Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG) is just the fourth prime site selected by Quintiles for its long-term commitment to clinical research. These sites tend to be “larger, growing research enterprises that have a willingness to engage in active alliance management and are capable of performing multiple Quintiles studies per year”, the company explains.

The three existing prime site locations are the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Queen Mary’s College in London, UK and the Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C., US.

Kaiser Permanente’s Medical Groups are physician-owned organisations that provide and arrange for medical care for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan members in various regions of the US. Under the agreement with Quintiles, clinical research professionals from both parties will “work together closely to enhance the productivity and quality of clinical research offered at the SCPMG site”, Quintiles announced.

The benefits for study sponsors are increased collaboration between clinicians and research professionals, as well as “robust processes for reducing complexity and accelerating trials”, it said, adding that Kaiser Permanente’s “rich background in clinical, epidemiologic and translational research is a natural fit with Quintiles’ core capabilities”.

The Southern California Permanente Clinical Trials programme “works on the premise that all clinical trials research should focus on advancing the practice of medical care to improve health outcomes through rigorously designed and executed trials”, noted Dr Donald Fong, director of clinical trials in the SCPMG Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

Typically, he said, clinical trials conducted by Kaiser Permanente are aimed at evaluating the impact of interventions at the bedside, which ensures the studies “address meaningful questions”.