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WuXi and PRA form Chinese joint venture

Combine to form new China-focused independentCRO

Shanghai-based WuXi PharmaTech has teamed up with its US counterpart PRA for a joint venture that will see the two offer contract research services in WuXi's home territory.

The contract research organisations (CROs) will combine their clinical operations in China into a single CRO that will be jointly owned by the two companies.

The as-yet unnamed new CRO will have offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou and cover all regions of the country.

Dr Ge Li, chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech, said: "China's pharmaceutical market today is the third largest in the world and growing very rapidly.

“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.”

The new venture aims to become the “clinical trial service provider of choice in China”, he added.

It's the second major joint venture for WuXi in recent months, following the September agreement between its WuXi AppTech subsidiary and AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit to bring an inflammatory disease candidate to the Chinese market.

WuXi's new deal will see it work with PRA to offer phase I-IV clinical trial services, including clinical trial monitoring, project management and regulatory strategy, to clients across China, Hong Kong and Macau.

WuXi will contribute clinical and regulatory experience to the joint venture from its China-based clinical organisation, and supply laboratory services.

Meanwhile, PRA will bring its global resources and clinical research expertise to the table, as well as supporting the venture with its China-based staff and global technology capabilities.

"PRA's global experience and technical expertise and WuXi's operational experience and knowledge in China are a perfect fit," said Colin Shannon, PRA's president and CEO.

"Clinical trials continue to expand in China, and this joint venture is another step we are taking to meet the needs of our clients by establishing a strong presence there.”

8th January 2013

From: Research

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