US-based contract research organisation QPS has again stepped up its presence in Asia, while also expanding its capabilities for late-stage clinical trials, by acquiring a majority stake in Qualitix Clinical Research, a full-service CRO with offices in Taiwan and China.

The announcement comes little more than a month after QPS ramped up its early-phase expertise in the Asian market by acquiring the Center of Toxicology and Preclinical Sciences from Taiwan’s Development Center for Biotechnology. In January, QPS took a majority interest in Bioserve Clinical Research, a full-service Phase I CRO based in Hyderabad, India.

The Qualitix deal is the fourth cross-border acquisition for QPS in the last six months. Based in Tapei and Shanghai, Qualitix is a spin-off from Taiwan-based biotechnology company Genovate, which retains a minority interest in the operation now renamed to QPS-Qualitix Taiwan. 

The new entity will have the broadest range of product development, clinical research and regulatory services in Taiwan, QPS said. It will focus mainly on clinical trials in Taiwan for oncology indications and metabolic disorders to support global regulatory submissions.

“With its strong Asia-Pacific regional network of CRO partners, QPS-Qualitix acts as an attractive launching point from which clients may address the rapidly growing Asian market,” QPS commented.

The combined offering includes an established network of investigators at all 22 medical centres in Taiwan as well as a site management organisation,Unitix, that will allow for rapid patient recruitment in the region.  

State-of-the-art clinical trial management and electronic data capture systems will enable QPS-Qualitix to deliver data management and biostatistics services complementing those available from QPS Netherlands and QPS-Bioserve India, the parent company noted.

The partnership will “not only allow Qualitix to vertically integrate with QPS for more global exposure and market competitiveness, but also offer complete services from preclinical to clinical to expedite new drug development”, said Dr Jen Chen, chief executive officer of Genovate.