Novotech reaches into Hong Kong, Philippines

Novotech CEO Alek Safarian

Fresh off a private equity cash infusion, Australian CRO Novotech is expanding into Hong Kong and the Philippines, part of its ongoing effort to tap clinical trial demand in Asia.

Last month, Novotech sold off a 30% stake to private equity firm Mercury Capital for an undisclosed sum, saying it would use the money to scale up its presence in Asia. The company already has operations in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, India and Malaysia, and spreading out into Hong Kong and the Philippines will help it boost its patient-recruitment efforts for international clients, CEO Alek Safarian said.

"With staff on the ground and projects already awarded in both Hong Kong and the Philippines, we expect these new offices to make a strong contribution to our regional expansion efforts in 2013 and 2014," Safarian said in a statement.

Hong Kong is a recognized clinical trial site by China's Food and Drug Administration, the company notes, and setting up operations there will give Novotech a front-row seat to the exploding demand for drug development in that country. Furthermore, clinical trial recruitment in the region more than quadrupled between 2005 and 2011, reaching 12.2% of the global total, Novotech said.

Novotech is currently managing about 70 clinical trials in oncology, cardiovascular and other fields, the company said, and with an influx of cash and an increase in capacity, the CRO expects marked growth on the year.

- read the announcement

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