U.S./U.K. CRO Quanticate announced this week that it would open a new office in Bangalore, India. It is a move that reinforces the CRO's commitment to work in the country, despite controversy surrounding India's clinical and pharma handlings.
Opening its first office in India comes as Quanticate hopes to grow in the region, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Daniel Chapple explains in a statement. And as Chapple and PharmaTimes notes, the market will also allow customers to enjoy Quanticate's large-scale functional service provider (FSP) contracts, with FSP services being something that tickles the likes of Astellas Pharma, Eli Lilly ($LLY), Merck ($MRK) and Sanofi ($SNY).
The news comes at a time when the country's drug industry has been scrutinized at home and abroad. In March, an investigative piece on Indian CRO's by NBC's "Dateline" depicted two small CROs--Lambda Therapeutic Research and Synchron Research Services--as willing to conduct trials of a copy of Vioxx, a pain drug that led to the death of thousands, while compensating subjects only a fraction of what they would receive in the West. Adding to that was a parliamentary inquiry this month that revealed that India's health agency allowed 31 of 42 drugs approved between 2004 and 2010 onto the market without going through a clinical trial (though the drugs were already approved in the U.S.).
Still, Executive Vice President of Operations (Strategic Delivery) Karen Oooms maintains that Quanticate's work in India is more than just about saving money.
"Quanticate has been careful in its approach to using lower cost regions and does so for more than the purpose of achieving more attractive labor rates due to the importance and cost of gaining the data," she said in a statement. "The employees that are working in all our sites are not only highly experienced but also have a focus on teamwork to ensure that the high quality deliverables and communication that Quanticate has a reputation for is not impacted."
- read the release from Quanticate
- learn more from PharmaTimes
India's drug regulator says it will clean up its act
INC Research and Astellas expand alliance
Reactions to poor practices, 'Dateline' special on CROs differ in India