harmaNet Development Group, the US-based contract research organisation (CRO) that recently agreed to a merger with affiliates of private equity firm JLL Partners, has further expanded its Latin American presence by opening an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The CRO has been providing clinical trial support in Latin America since 2002, with a network of field-based staff in Brazil, Mexico and Peru. PharmaNet opened an office in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2003.

Brazil is highly favoured location for clinical research due to its “qualified investigators, large patient population, high standard of care and rigorous regulatory standards which are aligned with US and EU regulations”, the company noted.

“The number of clinical trials in Latin America has experienced significant growth over the past ten years,” commented Fernanda Duran, PharmaNet executive director, Latin American operations. “Our clients are more actively requesting Latin American sites in order to meet aggressive timelines for patient recruitment, thus bringing their new drugs to market sooner.”

Clinical trials have been running in Latin America since the early 1990s and FDA audits “have indicated that the quality of trials in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are sound”, PharmaNet added.