UK-based patient recruitment and trial management business Synexus has consolidated its presence in South Africa, a market it has operated in for nearly six years, with a new in-patient facility for clinical trials in Pretoria.

Synexus now has a total of four sites in South Africa, which it entered in October 2006 by acquiring Clinical Research Centres SA, a site- and trial-management organisation based in Pretoria.

The new Nyeleti research facility has been developed for Phase II and III studies requiring 24-hour serial spirometry (lung-function tests), mixed meal-tolerance testing, pharmacokinetics with an overnight stay, or infusions. It will support the existing Synexus clinical-trial centres in Pretoria and Mamelodi.

In-patient ward

The Nyeleti facility includes an in-patient ward as well as a secure, temperature-controlled dispensing unit designed to manage supplies according to International Conference on Harmonisation Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP) and national guidelines.

It also houses emergency and other resuscitative equipment, a transit laboratory

and a food preparation area, as well as providing ambulance support.

"Synexus recognises the vital role South Africa has to play in global clinical trials and continues to invest in the region,” commented chief executive officer Dr Christophe Berthoux.

“In addition to providing access to a large patient pool, many of whom are treatment-naive, the medical infrastructure and training is of a very high standard,” he added. “There is also a high public awareness of the benefits of clinical trials which speeds up recruitment and overcomes the lengthy regulatory process.”