China a new frontier for growing clinical tech firm

As China invests heavily to become a biotech powerhouse, OpenClinica has struck an alliance deal with Shanghai-based Athena Healthcare to make inroads with its clinical trials software in the Chinese market.

China is years behind the U.S. and other counties viewed as key sites for clinical trials, yet Waltham, MA-based OpenClinica is clearly moving into China with an eye toward the future. Like it has in other industries such as electronics and drug ingredients manufacturing, the Asian powerhouse has proven it can quickly establish itself in business sectors.

With Athena as its exclusive distributor of its enterprise electronic data capture (EDC) software in China, OpenClinica hopes to gain users of its technology among CROs, drug developers and scientific institutes that are active in the country, according to the firm. China's humongous population and growing medical infrastructure make the country an intriguing site for trials, and OpenClinica says that sponsors are already increasing their clinical research in the country. And in another recent development, WuXi PharmaTech, a major Chinese CRO, reportedly revealed plans this month to get into the clinical trials business, building on its experience with preclinical research and other services.

"For the past 6 years OpenClinica has been used in FDA regulated clinical trials," said Ben Baumann, OpenClinica's business development director. "We are excited to bring this world-class technology to China, which is increasing its standards for clinical research."

- here's the release

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