US-based contract research organisation (CRO) PRA International has broadened its portfolio of bioanalytical testing services in North America through a collaborative agreement with Frontage Laboratories, which runs a bioanalytical and biomarker research centre of excellence in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Under the partnership, Frontage will offer specialised bioanalytical services via PRA. Pharmacokinetic and biostatistical consultancy services as well as data support –including data management, biostatistical and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic analysis, and report writing compliant with International Conference on Harmonisation requirements – will also be available under the collaboration.

Tying up with Frontage enables PRA Early Development Services’ US Clinical Pharmacology Centre (PRA EDS US CPC) to provide a full range of analytical laboratory testing services that will complement its existing Phase I-IV clinical trial offering in North America, the CRO said.

“By meaningfully broadening its bioanalytical service portfolio, PRA now offers pharma and biotech sponsors and other CROs the ability to align the clinical and laboratory processes, thus saving time by avoiding unnecessary clinical trial delays,” it commented, adding that PRA already provides a comparable full-service offering in Europe.

According to Dr Wim Tamminga, senior director, PRA EDS US CPC, the partnership will allow PRA to speed up Phase I studies and to help sponsors make better decisions earlier in the drug development process.

The CRO has been steadily building up its early-phase capabilities over the last couple of years. In March it opened a new, expanded Clinical Pharmacology Center in Lenexa, Kansas. Prior to that, PRA acquired Dutch clinical development and bioanalytical laboratory specialist Pharma Bio-Research in July 2006 and Pharmacon, a CRO based in Germany and specialising in Phase I studies, in October 2007.

“Frontage is the right partner for this collaboration because they are already a well-established provider of cGMP/GLP [current Good Manufacturing Practice/Good Laboratory Practice] compliant testing services,” Tamminga noted, citing in particular Frontage’s quality of service, location and scientific knowledge.