Covance teams with U.K.'s NHS Trust on Phase I trials

Royal Liverpool (top) and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust will team with Covance--courtesy of the Trust

Covance ($CVD) has formed an alliance with Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust to conduct early clinical trials for biotech and pharma clients.

The Trust, established in 1995, uses NHS resources to conduct clinical research, and partnering with a large CRO such as Covance will help it expand into Phase I studies for industry clients and establish the Royal Liverpool University Hospital as a hub for life sciences, Trust R&D Vice President Robert Sutton said in a statement.

"We have a successful track record in the field of experimental medicine and are unique in the U.K. in our investment in clinical pharmacology along with our position in the local health and life science industry," Sutton said. "We have the ability to work with new technologies to enhance the effectiveness and safety of new medicines for our patients."

Covance didn't disclose financial details of the partnership, but Vice President Rob Aspbury said in a statement that teaming with the Trust will improve the CRO's patient recruitment efforts and provide a high-level Phase I setting for its clients.

The partnership comes months after the NHS began considering getting into the clinical services game itself, taking a page from the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hospital, which have profited off of similar arrangements. The service has said it has already been in talks with Brit drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and AstraZeneca ($AZN).

- read Covance's release