Manipal AcuNova, Ecron join hands for clinical trials

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Bangalore, Nov 5 (UNI) Two leading Clinical Research Organisations (CROs) -- Manipal AcuNova and Germany-based ECRON-- today joined hands to conduct clinical trials in India and European countries.

Announcing the joint initiative, AcuNova Vice Chairman and Managing Director D A Prasanna told newspersons here that the initiative gave an opportunity to conduct clinical trials in European countries, where ECRON had facilities and in turn the German CRO also gets opportunity to conduct similar trials in AcuNova facility in India.

''Industry experience shows bringing a drug to market takes eight to ten years. Indian CROs do not have a track record in seeing a drug through development and into market. Hence this merger would combine MAL's access to investigators and patients, with ECRON's quality reputation, making drugs available faster,'' he said'' Dr Prasanna said though the CRO market was estimated at 100 million dollars, it is very small compared to other developing countries, despite last two years witnessing increase in clinical trials from 225 in 2005 to 400 last year. The surge was mainly due to lifting of sanctions by the US and India opening up her pharmaceutical industry to attract Foreign Direct Investment.

Mr Prasanna said AcuNova, which had Rs 50 crore turnover last year, was expected to register 20 per cent growth on year to year basis.

Under the agreement, AcoNova would provide end-to-end services to Phase I-IV clinical trials including project management, clinical data management (CDM), biostatistics, medical writing, central lab and bio-availability, bio equivalence (BA/BE) studies to pharma, biotech, device and diagnostic companies.

To a question, he said Acqunova might go in for more acquisitions after consolidating in Europe.

ECRON President Dr Wiedey said the possibility of extending trials from Europe to India would make drug development faster.

Trial data could be analysed with biostaticians and data management professionals from India, speeding up submission to regulators like EMEA and US FDA.

''We can also take up bigger complex projects with a broader range of services,'' he said.


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