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research and development news

Quintiles opens new European headquarters in the UK

Pharmaceutical services company Quintiles has opened a new European headquarters in the UK.

The Reading, Berkshire facility will house more than 500 employees who will relocate from three separate offices to the new state-of-the-art space.

At the opening ceremony Quintiles founder, chairman and chief executive Dennis Gillings, CBE, stressed the continued importance of Europe, and particularly the UK, in the global phamra market.

Contract research news in brief

Clinipace raises $15m, PPD appoints a new chief executive and there are updates from Quintiles, PharmaNet and DaVita Clinical Research.

Clinipace Worldwide has raised $15 million in an investment round and says it will use the funds to expand its services portfolio. The contract research organisation has been expanding fast of late, acquiring three other businesses in the last 18 months (PFC Pharma Focus, Regulus Pharmaceutical Consulting and Worldwide Clinical Research) which have helped it post 'triple-digit' revenue growth.

McLaren alliance to turbocharge GSK research

GSK McLaren
GSK's Andrew Witty (left) and Ron Dennis, executive chairman of McLaren Group

GlaxoSmithKline has turned to the engineering expertise of Formula 1 racing team McLaren in an innovative alliance designed to transform its manufacturing, R&D and consumer health divisions.

The five-year agreement will see McLaren apply the expertise in engineering, analytics and modelling it uses to keep F1 cars speeding around the track to squeeze performance out of GSK's manufacturing plants, clinical testing programme and strategic oversight of its consumer health business.

Clinical research news in brief

This roundup includes using social media to recruit trial subjects, a strategic level service deal between BMS and Icon, plus updates from Clinilabs, RxGen and Parexel.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US have boosted patient recruitment into clinical trials by tapping into the power of social media. Using a social networking site for patients with rare diseases, the team were able to enrol all 12 patients needed for the trial in spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) within a week.

Eisai shares risk with novel trial funding approach

Eisai has unveiled a novel risk-sharing approach to accelerate its late-stage research programme by accepting new sources of clinical trial funding.

To avoid having to wholly finance all its phase III studies the company will accept funds from external parties, enabling Eisai to start late-stage trials earlier than would otherwise be possible.

EMA should compare 'like-for-like' when assessing new drugs

EMA headquarters: Currently the regulator only asks for a new drug to be compared against a placebo

The European system of comparing drugs against placebo and not against a comparator is flawed, according to a new LSE report.

It argues pharma companies should show how their drugs compare to existing treatments before approval, so that only the most beneficial and safest therapies reach patients.

The report suggests this will ease the burden on coountries’ scarce healthcare resources by ensuring only the best drugs are funded.

Lilly considering a stake in Turkish drugmaker

Eli Lilly is reportedly eyeing up a partnership with Turkish drugmaker Mustafa Nevzat Ilac Sanayi (MN Pharmaceuticals) in order to tap into the country's growing drug market.

The pharmaceutical multinational is rumoured to be interested in a minority stake in MN Pharma, according to a Wall Street Journal report, although local Turkish newspapers suggested an outright sale of the business may also be on the cards.

Zonegran study could pave way for paediatric licence

Eisai’s epilepsy drug Zonegran has been found more effective than placebo in children with the neurological condition who have seizures.

The phase III CATZ study also showed Zonegran (zonisamide) was well-tolerated in paediatric patients treated with one or two other anti-epileptic drugs.

Licensed from Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Zonegran is currently used as adjunctive therapy in adults with such seizures, with or without secondary generalisation.

Ex-Pfizer employees set up new business at Sandwich

Pfizer Sandwich Kent

Seven former Pfizer employees have set up a new business in Sandwich that will provide outsourcing services for the pharma industry.

Pfizer announced in February that it would be closing its R&D centre at Sandwich, Kent, by 2012 due to a scaling back of its global research budget. 

The site has since been classified an ‘enterprise zone’ by the UK government to help encourage more businesses to replace Pfizer, and the recently established Research Network will be the first to occupy the new office spaces available.

Clinical research news in brief

Private equity firm the Carlyle Group is rumoured to be looking at buying PPD, plus there are updates from CTA/Clininvent, BioClinica and MakroCare/LSK Global and new US regulations in the offing on protection of patients in clinical trials.

Rumours persist that contract research organisation PPD may be heading for a sale, with private equity firm the Carlyle Group heading the list of takeover candidates, according to Bloomberg.

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