Japanese CRO taps BBK for a U.S. joint venture

Japan's CROèe, a patient-recruitment-focused contractor, has deepened its ties with partner BBK, launching a joint venture in the U.S. to provide a gateway into its home country's growing market for drug development.

The new venture, christened BBK + CROèe, is designed to be a go-to entity for U.S. drugmakers looking to launch trials in Japan, which the companies say is the second-largest pharma marketplace in the world.

The two have been working together since 2010 through the Patient Recruitment Global Alliance, a network of contractors managed by BBK, and their new effort builds off that experience, marrying their technologies and bridging their client rosters.

Through BBK + CROèe, the former's TrialCentralNet, a recruitment platform, will work seamlessly with the Japanese company's iPass tracking system, the pair said. That creates an easy-to-use system for keeping tabs on recruitment, retention and reporting, according to the companies, and they plan to further integrate their offerings as the JV moves forward.

"BBK's leadership in global patient recruitment and engagement services will continue to be complemented by CROèe's operational and local expertise, and integrating TCN and iPass was a natural extension of our work together," BBK + CROèe President Kiyoshi Aoyagi said in a statement. "We look forward to broadening our reach here in the U.S., and to working with BBK in this new capacity to help pharmaceutical and biotech companies conduct more efficient clinical research worldwide."

The rapid growth in Japanese demand for novel therapies is hardly lost on Big Pharma, but the country requires drug developers to conduct local trials before it will consider approval, creating a barrier to entry that BKK and CROèe believe they can break down.

- read the statement

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