ClinTec plots Turkish expansion

U.K. CRO ClinTec International has its sights set on Turkey, planning to open an office in Istanbul to tap the growing demand for clinical research in the Middle East.

The new facility will give ClinTec access to a large patient population in Turkey, the company said, and it further solidifies the CRO's presence in the region, with offices in Cairo, Dubai and Beirut.

"The launch of this new office in Turkey confirms ClinTec International's reputation as a truly global provider of quality-assured clinical research services," CEO Rabinder Buttar said in a statement. "It also reflects the growing significance of Turkey--and the wider (Middle East and North Africa) region--to the global clinical research market."

ClinTec is hardly alone in its Middle Eastern interest. Parexel ($PRXL) CFO James Winschel said in March that the company has its eyes on M&A in the region, targeting companies in Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula.

Meanwhile, drug developers are looking more and more to the region thanks to competitive terms and governmental subsidies for high-tech industry. Pfizer ($PFE) is planning to launch a giant manufacturing and packaging plant in Saudi Arabia in 2015, and Merck KGaA is looking to United Arab Emirates-based manufacturer Neopharma to help expand its share of the regional market.

- read the announcement