PPD expands investigator network in India

Large investigator site aims to provide clients with faster patient enrollment and reduced time to approval

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WILMINGTON, N.C.— Global contract research organization(CRO) PPD Inc. recently established an agreement with the Himalayan Instituteand Hospital Trust (HIHT University), a large teaching hospital in northernIndia, to create a large investigator site to expand its network ofinvestigators in a region that has become increasingly important for conductingglobal clinical trials.
The agreement will provide biopharmaceutical companiesaccess to large patient populations and a group of investigators who can manageclinical trials in accordance with ICH/GCP guidelines, considerations forestablishing an investigator, or partner, site. According to PPD, the site willreduce time to approval, promote quality research and create greater costefficiencies in drug development.
PPD already has a large presence in India, with offices inMumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi, and more than 1,400 employees throughout AsiaPacific.
The university has a 750-bed, multi-specialty tertiary carehospital that offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in medicine.The outpatient department treats approximately 1,500 patients daily with anaverage inpatient occupancy of 86 percent. The hospital provides care in theareas of oncology, cardiology, respiratory, dermatology, nephrology, neurology,urology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, pediatrics, anesthesiology, obstetricsand gynecology, ophthalmology, psychiatry and otolaryngology. It is the largestpostgraduate institute in the northern India state of Uttarakhand.
PPD will develop the site by providing infrastructuresupport and exclusive training for site staff and estimates that partner sitescould account for a significant percentage of sites and patients for any givenstudy.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, clinical trials inIndia are expected to grow at 25-30 percent annually. Locating clinical trialsin India can potentially reduce patient enrollment time by as much as 30 percent,PPD says. 
PPD declined an interview request for this story.
"India's large patient population makes it an importantcountry for us to continue to expand our investigative sites," said SimonBritton, PPD's vice president of clinical development for Asia Pacific, in astatement issued by the company. "Expanding our access to highly trainedinvestigators provides our clients a strong advantage for conducting clinicaltrials in a region that is seeing strong growth for clinical research anddevelopment."
Shri Vijay Dhasmana, vice chancellor of HIHT University,added, "The collaboration between PPD and HIHT will help bring more globalclinical research into this region. Our faculty will have an opportunity toparticipate in cutting-edge global research, and patients will benefit byhaving access to the latest available therapies."

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