UK-based patient recruitment and trial management business Synexus says its clinical trial activity in Hungary, where the company opened a new regional office in the summer of 2009, has increased by 25% in the first half of 2010.

It is a trend Synexus believes will continue. “The high standards of medical research and development expertise in Hungary have resulted in high levels of participation in clinical trials and mean that pharma and biotech companies remain keen to include Hungary as part of their global clinical trial programmes,” commented Dr Erika Nemeth, the company’s local country manager.

The regional office is in Budapest, next to Synexus’ existing clinical trial centre in the Hungarian capital. The company’s Dedicated Research Centre in Budapest has been operating since 2006, becoming one of Synexus’ most successful sites in Central and Eastern Europe, it noted.

Since being acquired by Synexus, the Budapest-based operation has been involved in more than 74 trials.

The prevalence of chronic conditions in Hungary, including cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, combined with a shortage of preventative healthcare and health education, means the treatment-naïve population “remains substantial and therefore attractive for clinical trials”, Synexus pointed out.

Moreover, the pharmaceutical market in Hungary “is set to increase significantly in the coming decade, encouraging the major players to establish a stronger and more proactive presence here before their new drugs come to market”.

According to Synexus chief executive Michael Fort, the productivity of investigators, the attractive overhead costs and the “world-renowned” medical expertise and innovation in Hungary “make it one of his company’s key areas for future development”.

The clinical trial environment in Hungary “is ideal for Synexus”, Fort commented. “The development of the sector is being actively encouraged by the authorities, the enthusiasm and productivity of the medical professionals is widely acknowledged, and the demand for better healthcare means that the population is far more open to taking advantage of the benefits of joining a clinical trial”.

From a cost point of view, “there are definite advantages, and in the current economic climate, these are undeniably attractive to us and also to trial sponsors”, Fort added.