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Contract research news in brief

Published on 22/12/09 at 06:40am

Our round-up of developments in the contract research sector includes updates from ICON, SynRG, AAIPharma, Covance, Benten BioServices, Phase Forward and PharmaVigilant.

John Climax will retire as chairman of Irish contract research organisation ICON plc, effective December 31, and will be replaced by Bruce Given. Climax, who will remain a board member, co-founded the company in 1990 with former chairman Ronan Lambe. Given has been an ICON board member since 2004 and was formerly president and chief executive of US firm Encysive Pharmaceuticals.

Synergy Research Group (SynRG) has become the first Russian member of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice. The EFGCP is a Brussels-based organisation aimed at promoting GCP throughout Europe and globally. SynRG said the move would help it establish a "civilised market" for clinical trials in Russia and improve its attractiveness to foreign study sponsors.

ZeeCRO of the US has sold its AAIPharma bioanalytical division to private equity firm Kansas Venture Capital, which will rename the business KCAS LLC. The business specialises in method development, validation and high-throughput sample analysis on biological samples from preclinical and clinical studies. The new buyer said it intends to grow the bioanalytical business "through organic and acquisition strategies". Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

US-based CRO Covance has boosted its presence in the Asia Pacific region by opening new clinical development offices in Seoul, South Korea, and Mumbai in India, as well as expanding office space in Japan and China to increase service capacity. The expansion will accommodate "growing demand for clinical development services" in the AP region, said the firm in a statement.

Drug discovery technology specialist Deltagen has acquired Benten BioServices, a contract services organisation that offers manufacturing and testing services to support biopharmaceutical development and commercialisation. Deltagen said Benten’s contract service offerings will complement its knockout mouse lines and the humanised mouse models and xenobiotic technologies sold by its Xenopharm subsidiary.

US eClinical firm Phase Forward has appointed Michael Owings to as chief privacy officer, a new executive role with the brief of ensuring the company complies with the latest data protection and privacy regulations governing the clinical research sector.

PharmaVigilant, a US-based clinical trial technology company, has launched an enhanced version of its I-Builder software, which helps sponsors design protocols for clinical studies. I-Builder 2.0 "offers a complete study builder module enabling sponsors to build trials from simple to complex adaptive trials for phase I-IV", said the company in a statement.

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