WuXi PharmaTech, the contract research organisation with operations in China and the US, is forming a joint venture with fellow CRO PRA to provide a broad range of Phase I-IV clinical-trial services in the Chinese market, including Hong Kong and Macau.

The two companies will combine their respective clinical operations into an independent contract research organisation jointly owned by its parents. Among the services on offer are clinical-trial monitoring, project management, regulatory strategy and submissions, data management, biostatistics, drug-safety reporting and medical monitoring.

WuXi will contribute clinical and regulatory experience from its China-based clinical organisation, which covers all regions of the country and has employees working in 16 Chinese cities, as well as offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

The company will also supply laboratory services to the joint venture through a preferred-provider arrangement.  

Wealth of resources

PRA will bring to the joint venture “a wealth of global resources and clinical-research expertise, reflected in more than 3,100 studies conducted over the last five years and contributions to 40 approved drugs in several therapeutic areas”, the partners noted.  

The US-headquartered CRO will also support the venture with its staff based in China and its global technology capabilities, encompassing data capture, trial management and other information-technology systems.  

WuXi and PRA will market the joint venture’s services to their respective customers.

Perfect fit

“PRA’s global experience and technical expertise and WuXi’s operational experience and knowledge in China are a perfect fit,” commented Colin Shannon, president and chief executive (CEO) of PRA.  

Dr Ge Li, chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech, said the two companies were building “the leading clinical-trial services operation in China”.  

The local pharmaceutical market is the now the third largest in the world and is “growing very rapidly”, he added.  

“Biopharmaceutical companies increasingly need sophisticated clinical-trial management services to gather the highest-quality data in Chinese patients to complete Chinese and international regulatory filings as quickly and successfully as possible.”

PRA recently opened a second office in China to accommodate its continued growth in that country and the wider Asia Pacific region.