Synexus, the UK-based company that specialises in patient recruitment and clinical trial management, has opened a new research centre in Pretoria, completing the initial phase of the South African expansion programme it announced last October.

Phase II, III and IV clinical trials will be conducted at the 562 sq m walk-in centre for outpatients. Synexus entered the South African market in October 2006 when it acquired Clinical Research Centres SA, a site and trial management organisation originally established in 2000 and based in Pretoria.

Last year Synexus said it planned to more than double its existing clinical trial capacity in South Africa by expanding its facilities in Pretoria and opening two purpose-designed sites in Mamelodi and Soshanguwe respectively. The existing Synexus centre in Pretoria incorporates a 36-bed Phase I and Phase IIa clinical trials unit.

The sites in Mamelodi and Soshanguve will be opened later this year, Synexus noted. The new centres will have state-of-the-art equipment including DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scanners and digital x-ray facilities. They will be run by a team of 25 staff trained in Good Clinical Practices.