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Contract research news in brief

Published on 05/10/11 at 07:30am

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.

PPD has named management consultant Raymond Hill as its new chief executive, replacing David Grance who retired from the position in May 2011. Hill joins PPD after eight years with IMS Health, most recently serving as president of IMS Consulting Group.

Quintiles has won the contract to manage InSite Vision's Phase III trial programme for AzaSite Plus (ISV-502; azithromycin and dexamethasone) and DexaSite (ISV-305; dexamethasone), two drugs in development as treatments for blepharitis. The eye disorder, also known as lid margin disease, is characterised by inflammation of the eyelid and has no US FDA-approved treatment.

PharmaNet has signed a letter of intent with McGill University Health Centre in Canada which could lead to the setting up of the country's first translational medicine unit for carrying out Phase I-IIa clinical studies. The facility will be located at the Montreal General Hospital and should start operations in 2012.

DaVita Clinical Research, traditionally a specialist in kidney research, has expanded the capabilities of its central laboratory with a 43% increase in its portfolio of testing services. The firm's testing facility in Minneapolis, USA, has added new equipment that will expand its analytical services into oncology, immunology, endocrinology, cardiology and anaemia. Other additions include increased specimen management and storage capabilities for both short- and long-term testing, and the launch of a new biorepository.

Phil Taylor

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