US-based contract research organisation (CRO) PRA International has been expanding its global footprint of late, with a new office in Italy and a swift move to larger facilities in South Korea.

The Italian office is in Milan and will provide additional infrastructure for PRA’s existing staff in Italy as well as space for more staff according to customer needs, the company said.

PRA has been operating in the country since 2003 through home-based staff. During the last three years alone, it has taken part in more than 80 studies covering 13 therapeutic areas in Italy.

Heading up the Milan office is Lucia Dolfi, director of clinical operations, who will oversee a staff of 30. The office has geographical responsibility for all of Italy, Malta and the southern part of Switzerland.

In South Korea, PRA has moved to a larger, more centrally located facility in Seoul, where it opened an office last July. The CRO said it had experienced “substantial growth” in South Korea over the past several months, “based on increasing customer and project needs”.

The new office is in the Gangnam area of Seoul, very close to the City Airport Terminal. According to PRA, the move will give it better access to study institutions in Seoul as well as offering more convenience for sponsors visiting the area.

South Korea is widely regarded as the third most important pharmaceutical market in Asia and as one of the most important countries in the region for clinical studies to support new drug approvals, PRA noted.

Before opening its initial office in Seoul, the company had been providing clinical trial management services in South Korea since 2005, mainly through local partnerships.