US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Quintiles Transnational is moving into new regional headquarters with around double the existing space in Singapore, to meet what the CRO describes as “surging demand” for its services in the Asia Pacific region.

Quintiles first entered the region in 1993 with offices in Japan and Australia before establishing its Singapore office in 1995. It was the first CRO to set up operations in the city state. The current Singapore base has a staff of around 225 occupying close to 40,000sq ft of space across three locations.

Quintiles’ Central Laboratory and its Clinical Development Services offices in Singapore will now transfer to some 80,000sq ft of space, with room for around 400 employees, in the Cintech IV building currently under construction in the city state’s Science Park One. The CRO plans to move its regional headquarters in the third quarter of 2009.

The new facility will house the region’s largest clinical development organisation, Quintiles noted. The CRO also recently expanded its offices in Manila (the Philippines), Taipei (Taiwan), Seoul (South Korea), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bangkok (Thailand), Sydney (Australia) and Hong Kong, as well as opening an office in Jakarta (Indonesia).

Since entering the Asia Pacific region, the CRO has conducted more than 1,000 studies there involving over 6,500 sites and more than 16,000 patients. It has built up a network of 2,800 clinical development professionals representing 23 different nationalities.

Dr Anand Tharmaratnam, head of clinical development for Quintiles Asia Pacific, said the CRO’s growth in Singapore had been bolstered by the expanding base of companies and research institutes in the city state’s biomedical sciences research community. “We are projecting continued strong growth in the future, and this new facility gives us the room we need,” he commented.

The larger headquarters would also enable Quintiles to work more efficiently, share best practices and deliver “truly turnkey solutions” to its customers, Tharmaratnam added.