Moderna Therapeutics, a high-profile private biotech with scores of preclinical projects, is finally moving toward human trials, recruiting one of the world's largest CROs to help get its much-hyped pipeline moving.
In recent years, technology has gone from being a novelty in clinical trials to the cornerstone of the research process. But with sponsors and CROs alike looking to IT to make studies more efficient, the expectation among observers is that the incorporation of tech into trials is just getting started.
Australia's George Clinical closely tracks China's growing number of domestic Contract Research Organizations and notes that of the estimated 250-odd companies, 90% are focused on domestic work. But George Clinical, based in Sydney, also looks ahead to the day the Chinese CROs and drug companies take bigger leaps into the global business.
MicroConstants China has signed a licensing agreement to gain the global rights for the development of AA98 antibody drug candidates from the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a unique deal between academia and local industry.
CRO conglomerate PRA Health Sciences pulled off a $306 million IPO, joining the growing list of Big Pharma contractors cashing in on Wall Street after years under private equity stewardship.
LabCorp is diversifying. The big diagnostics player has swooped in to buy the contract research organization Covance for $6.1 billion in cash and stock, confident that a combination of its expertise with Covance's approach to contract drug development will make for a successful merger.
Ventana and Quintiles are partnering up to provide companion diagnostic testing services in China for early clinical trials. China is among a few countries that requires patient samples used in clinical trials to be tested domestically for inclusion in the country's approval process.
More and more device companies are turning to contract research organizations for assistance in managing their clinical trials, something that is commonplace in the biopharma world. The first ever Partnerships in Medical Device Trials Conference was recently held in Chicago.
On the whole, the CRO industry is increasing its budgets for merit-based pay increases, according to a survey.
With the spiraling amount of time and money needed to bring a drug to market weighing heavy on their Big Pharma clients, CROs have invested in efficiency boosting technology to gain a competitive edge. And the trend is tipped to continue, with an analyst predicting CROs will be at the forefront of developments in IT and genomics in 2014.