Skip to NavigationSkip to content

Quintiles will open new clinical unit in London next year

Published on 27/10/09 at 12:07pm

Quintiles has agreed to set up a clinical research unit in London that will allow it to tap into the expertise of two of the UK's top teaching hospitals.

The collaboration with Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London will see the contract research organisation (CRO) site a 30-bed unit for early-stage clinical research unit within Guy's Hospital.

The Quintiles Drug Research Unit extends the firm's current phase I unit in London and will allow it to enrol not only healthy volunteers but also patients into studies at an early stage in the clinical research process, said a spokesperson for the CRO. In turn, that will help it to determine proof-of-concept sooner and guide further development of therapies. The unit is scheduled to open next year.

Professor Robert Lechler, vice principal (health) at King's, said the collaboration would create "a powerful 'experimental medicine' hub across four floors of the Guy's Hospital Tower".

Quintiles said the unit would help it carry out proof-of-concept studies more efficiently and help its clients bring medicines to market more quickly. One of the key advantages will be its proximity to "leading-edge" clinical research facilities, as well as a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) pharmacy currently being developed at the hospitals.

It will also be close to the King's Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and will be able to collaborate with researchers at the centre's faculty of translational medicine, which was set up in June and brings laboratory and clinical research closer together.

The BRC won a £3.3 million grant from the UK's National Institute for Health Research earlier this month for equipment to help it carry out biomarker research for immunological diseases, due to be installed in March 2010.

Early-stage focus

Quintiles has been expanding its capacity in early-stage clinical research of late, for example opening a phase I unit in India earlier this year via an agreement with the country's Apollo Hospitals Group. It also operates its own network of phase I units in the UK (75 beds, not including the new unit), Sweden (52 beds), and the US (150 beds).

Commenting on the move, Eddie Caffrey, senior vice president, global phase I, at Quintiles, said investment in early-stage development services "when done well, has significant impact on speed and cost of the overall development process".

Quintiles' move marks an emerging trend among CROs to foster close links with academic research centres specialising in translational medicine. Earlier this year, Ireland-headquartered ICON unveiled a similar agreement with the Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation for a unit that is due to open in 2012.

Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches