US-based contract research organisation Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) has sealed a long-standing relationship with the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of the largest university hospitals in Europe, by announcing a strategic collaboration with the Charité aimed at expanding and enhancing opportunities for clinical trials in Germany.

The tie up is with the hospital’s clinical-trials management unit (CTMU). Together, PPD and the Charité want to boost the volume of clinical trials conducted in Germany, improve patient access to commercial clinical research, accelerate the development of new medicines, and create more treatment opportunities for the German population.

More specifically, PPD and the CTMU will work together to reduce start-up times for clinical studies, maximise the number of patients recruited into trials, generate a continuing flow of high-quality data, and ensure that all site staff are trained appropriately to conduct clinical studies.

Multiple areas

The agreement covers a wide range of Phase I-IV trials across multiple therapy areas. As PPD noted, a “substantial number” of Germany’s 80.5 million citizens have participated in clinical trials, while the country has “a significant share of diseases in the key therapeutic areas that are emphasised in clinical research”.

According to Gerrit Fleige, executive director, finance and administration in the medical faculty of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the collaboration will further enhance the hospital’s reputation as a global centre of excellence for clinical research through “a first-class research site and a host of clinical investigators with expertise across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas”.

Key areas of focus for the CTMU include haematology/oncology, cardiovascular disease, neurology, psychiatry, respiratory diseases, rheumatology, anaesthesia, dermatology, nephrology, urology and women’s health.

Attractive prospect

Roger Newbery, PPD’s vice president of clinical management for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said Germany’s “abundance of intellectual and technical resources, coupled with the ongoing advances that have streamlined the clinical research process, make the country extremely attractive for clinical research”.

PPD’s resources in Germany include offices in Munich, Karlsruhe and Nuremberg, as well as more than 400 professionals offering expertise in biostatistics, clinical management, data management, pharmacovigilance, project management and quality assurance.