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Clinical research news in brief

Published on 24/08/11 at 11:58am

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. Earlier, the CRO said it was not in discussion with any other clinical service providers, although it kicked off a strategic review plan in July to look at ways to "unlock value for shareholders". It has been estimated that PPD could fetch something in the region of $4 billion.

Phase I specialist Cancer Trials Australia says it has entered into a collaboration agreement with India's Clininvent Research in order to "leverage complementary capabilities in selected areas of clinical development and offer services spanning phases I to IV to clients in Australia and India". The two companies will collaborate to offer trial design, ethics and governance management, site initiation and monitoring, said CTA's chef executive Marcus Clark.

eClinical specialist BioClinica reported net income of $924,000 on second-quarter revenues that were up 6% to $20.4 million. Growth was driven by its interactive voice/web response technology platform Trident which was launched at the end of 2010, said chief executive Mark Weinstein. "Since its initial launch we have had 11 new clients involving 24 studies commit to the Trident platform for their IVR/IWR needs," he said.

UK-based clinical trial services company MakroCare is expanding in Asia via a collaboration with South Korean CRO LSK Global. The Korean firm provides clinical services for phase I-III studies, while MakroCare focuses on clinical research, site management, informatics, communications and consulting services. The UK firm already has units in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and India and is looking to expand into China.

The US government is seeking comment on plans to enhance regulations protecting people who volunteer to take part in clinical trials. The Department of Health and Human Services wants feedback on a range of issues - including ethics, safety and oversight of human research - before it moves ahead with updating the rules, which have been in place since 1991. Reforms include revising the existing risk-based framework to more accurately calibrate the level of review to the level of risk, and using a single institutional review board review for all domestic sites of multi-site studies. More details here.

Phil Taylor


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