Questions for the CRO

trends in the life sciences and pharma research and development outsourcing (RDO)

Vicki Phelan, Managing Director, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Practice
with Stan Lepeak, Managing Director, Global Research

Trends in the life sciences and pharma research and development  outsourcing (RDO)

The complete report is available at http://goo.gl/MgVBu

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.

Multi National Pharma sell their Captive Clinical Research Facilities in India

MNC pharma companies to control 8% of $20bn worth Indian medicines market by 2015. According to a FICCI study more than 60% of trials in India is conducted by Global Big Pharma companies.  Indian Clinical Research arena is often compared to the Indian outsourcing success and hte wave of BPO industry success in India.

Multi national companies that launched their own captive BPO centres India have now sold them to Indian vendors,  that trend has grown, the likes of , GE, Citi Bank, all have sold their captive centres to Indian vendors

In curent wave or Indian CRO success in clinical research is compared to such trends. There may be a possiblity that the likes of Novartis, Pfizer, Lilly, Sanofi, GSK can sell their captive centres that focus on clinical research to Indian CRO’s.

But for the time being such ambitions by Indian CRO will remain as pipe dream untill they will move  away from “I can do it cheaper and faster than in west”- sales pitch. And gains credibility and resources to offer value added service to Global Pharma

For example Indian CRO can offer backend integration with Indian Medicinal chemistry experts and companies to provide drug re-licencing /re-positioning services. They need to think about offering these value add services. Following are some of the areas Indian CRO’s can look

1. what happens to failed Clinical Trial and how can Indian CRO help Global Pharma to Drug repositioning/Re-profiling of drugs

2. How can Indian CRO provide Pharmacogenomics  services with clinical trial

3. How can Indian CRO help in personalized medicine initiatives

4. Even though it serves the vested interests of Global Pharma how can Indian CRO help in Extending patents of existing drugs with ANDA and NDDS

5. Pharmacovigilance and Post -Market Surveillance for Risk Assesement and Risk Mitigation

6. Data Warehousing and Data Mining by integrating clinical and non clinical data from multiple studies

7. Drug Life cycle management services

8. Generating Key opinion leaders and KOL platform by using data from multiple trials and resources

9. Premarketing Clinical Drug Safety and Risk Assessment

10. Designing Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoecconomics stratgey and Aiding Evidence based pharmacotherapy


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