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Quintiles gets bigger in Singapore

Published on 10/11/09 at 06:55am

Contract research organisation Quintiles is planning to expand its workforce in Singapore to more than 500 employees "to accommodate increased demand for services throughout the Asia-Pacific region".

Singapore was Quintiles' first Asian location when the company opened shop in the area, back in 1998, and serves as the CROs headquarters for the region. It currently has around 250 employees in Singapore and 4,000 across Asia as a whole.

The CRO has doubled the size of its facilities in Singapore, having taken 79,000 sq. ft. of space over three floors of a building on the island's Science Park I. The move consolidates three separate offices into one building, given the company the capacity to house around 550 employees when fully occupied.

["The facilities] provide us with the technology, resources and scalability necessary to meet the needs of our customers in today's new healthcare landscape as well as scale our operations to meet their needs in the future," said Anand Tharmaratnam, head of clinical development for Quintiles Asia-Pacific.

The new headquarters was officially opened on Friday at a ceremony attended by Singaporean manpower minister Gan Kim Yong, who said the Asia-Pacific market for phase I to IV clinical trials is expected to generate $2 billion in revenues in 2010.

"CROs need to be in Asia to access and manage the growing number of clinical trials," he said at the opening ceremony, pointing out that 20 of the world's top CROs have a base in Singapore.

"However, they face the challenge of understanding Asia's complex regulatory environment and ensuring trials are conducted according to high ethical and scientific standards," added Gan.

He said the government's Economic Development Board is creating 50 trainee positions to help Singaporeans break into the clinical research sector, adding that Quintiles is one of the first companies to participate in the programme.

The EDB has a target of boosting employment in the pharmaceuticals sector in Singapore by 25% to around 15,000 people by 2015.

Quintiles recently added to its capabilities there with the opening of a 13,000 sq. ft. central laboratory facility in Singapore to serve the needs of clinical trial sponsors.

The expansion provides a variety of services, and plans are already underway to expand these capabilities in the coming months with the addition of assay development and anatomic pathology capabilities.

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