Questions for the CRO

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First Chinese Clinical Research Outsourcing Industry Standard Under Development

According to information from the The Contract Research Organization Union China (CROU) under the China National Pharmaceutical Technology Market Association, it is developing the first industry standard for the Chinese CRO sector, Guidelines for Clinical Trial Services of Contract Research Organizations. Currently drafting of the document is already completed and it is likely to be introduced before the end of this year.

The Guideline was formulated with references to relevant WHO documents, ICH-GCP, the Drug Administration Law of China, Provisions for Approval of Drugs, and Guidelines for Quality Control of Clinical Trials (Chinese GCP), according to Gong Yanhua, Secretary General of CROU.

Members of the technical work group are mostly experts from leading clinical CRO such as Quintiles and Pharmanet, while those of the academic advisory group are mostly representatives of MNC and leading local pharma companies. As its next step, CROU hopes to establish a technical committee for standardization of clinical trial services of Chinese CROs soon

in preclinical research service, Chinese CROs possess better service capabilities than Indian CROs; whereas in clinical research service, it is just opposite. In process R&D and scale-up synthesis, both countries possess similar capabilities. However, Indian companies possess better skills and capabilities than Chinese companies in formulation, manufacturing and marketing of generic drugs

The pharma outsourcing industries in both countries have grown rapidly in the recent few years. They are currently valued at about $1.42 B in China and $1.77 B in India, respectively; each occupying only about 2% share in the global pharma outsourcing market. On the other hand, both markets are posed to still grow rapidly in the future as they are driven by a number of positive factors. However, China appears to have higher future growth potential than India as it has fewer growth resistors. It will very likely catch and even surpass India after 2010.

At present, India is better than China in small molecule drug R&D and manufacturing. But China is superior over India in biotechnologies including the R&D and manufacturing of macro compounds. India offers better product quality but China has more cost reduction advantage. In terms of investment opportunities, China seems to present more attractions than India as its industry infrastructure and biotechnologies are more advanced.

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