Celerion moves into Singapore amid Asian expansion

Lincoln, NE, CRO Celerion has opened up shop in Singapore, following through on its efforts to tap the fast-growing Asian market for clinical research.

Making its entry into Singapore, Celerion has recruited Chew Lan Chong, a veteran of more than 130 early studies sponsored by the likes of Pfizer ($PFE) and Eli Lilly ($LLY), to serve as executive director and lead its new outpost.

The expansion follows Celerion's March move into South Korea, and the company said its new Asian beachhead allows it to provide early-stage research in a wide variety of disease areas, while its local partners can pitch in with expertise in pharmacogenetics and ethnic bridging studies.

"The continued expansion in Asia demonstrates Celerion's commitment to providing clients innovative solutions to conduct patient studies," Vice President Frederick Pritchard said in a statement. "Dr. Chong's academic qualifications and practical experience make her the perfect choice to head up our operations in Singapore, conducting the types of innovative and challenging studies involved in translational and experimental medicine."

Singapore's geography--almost equidistant from India, Japan and Australia--has made it an in-demand locale for sponsors and CROs, and the local government has invested billions to build up its biotech infrastructure, supporting biomarker research and strengthening intellectual property laws. The city-state's embrace of drug development has attracted Covance ($CVD), Parexel ($PRXL), PPD and others to stage trials there.

For Celerion, the Asia focus follows last year's expansion in Ireland, where the CRO conducts biologics and vaccine development. And the company is looking to cash in on the boom in demand for biosimilar development services, signing a deal with contractor Ricerca Biosciences to team up on biologics knockoffs.

- read the announcement

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