US-based contract research organisation (CRO) QPS has formed a strategic alliance with the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) in Taiwan.

The alliance will give biopharmaceutical companies in the Asia Pacific region and worldwide access to a complete range of drug development services, QPS said. In conjunction with DCB, the CRO’s existing capabilities will extend into chemistry, manufacturing and controls, in vitro/in vivo toxicology, and pharmacology.

Moreover, the Taiwan Biotechnology Take-off Package, launched by the government in March to galvanise the development of the domestic sector, has paved the way for the expansion of DCB’s services to cover process development and cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) production of biopharmaceuticals, QPS noted.

DCB is a non-profit organisation set up in 1984 with the support of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Department of Industrial Technology. Its aim is to advance the biotechnology industry in Taiwan through research and development, infrastructure-building and training programmes, and to serve as a bridge for the sector between Taiwan and the rest of the world.

QPS already operates a bioanalytical LC/MS/MS facility in Taipei, Taiwan. The alliance with DCB means the CRO now has “the ability to expand our services to cover preclinical through clinical with even more efficiencies of scale – to increase speed and reduce costs while maintaining our focus on accuracy of data”, commented chief executive officer Dr Ben Chien.

DCB has previously collaborated with QPS on a project-by-project basis. Formalising the partnership “will not only provide complete and integrated international-standard preclinical testing services to domestic pharmaceutical companies, but also lead to new clients and expanded business opportunities for DCB in the international drug development arena,” said president Dr. Chia-Lin Jeff Wang.

Founded by Chien in 1995, QPS specialises in in vivo/in vitro drug metabolism testing, preclinical absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) studies, pharmacokinetics, protein binding, whole body autoradiography, molecular biology, immunogenicity testing and biomarker assays.

The CRO has three bioanalysis technology platforms: LC/MS/MS for small molecules and polypeptides, ELISA for proteins and vaccines, and hybridization-ELISA for oligonucleotide-based drugs.