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Asia poised as preferred destination for clinical trials: Frost & Sullivan-Novotech study

Research from the paper revealed Asia as quickly becoming a clinical research powerhouse

By Team ABLE

Frost & Sullivan has recently released a white paper on Asia: Preferred Destination for Clinical Trials, with Asia Pacific CRO Sydney-based Novotech. The findings were presented to an audience of senior biotechnology and pharmaceutical executives in a private event at the Outsourcing in Clinical Trials - West Coast (OCT-WC 2017) conference, held Feb 22-23 in Burlingame, Ca. (USA).

Research from the paper revealed Asia as quickly becoming a clinical research powerhouse, facilitated by the availability of vast treatment-naive patient pools, exceptional clinical infrastructure and talent, and low operational costs.

Resources, Capabilities and Speed: Elements unique to Asia include large treatment-naive patient pools, numerous clinical trial centres with advanced equipment and technology, and comparable incidence and prevalence of Western diseases. The region\'s knowledgeable physicians and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) provide attractive environments for clinical trials and facilitate speedy trials; while low healthcare spend by many governments in Asia make clinical trials an attractive way for patients to access innovative therapies in these countries.

Worldwide Data Acceptability: Data from clinical trials in Asia is routinely accepted as part of US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulatory submissions. KOLs from Asia are often members of international expert groups and citable academic output from Asia is growing rapidly. Data from inspections conducted in Asia by US FDA and EMA show low levels of adverse findings versus the US or European Union (EU), indicating high international compliance to standards.

Cost-Effectiveness: Costs in Asia for procedures, diagnostic tests and visits are generally 30-40% lower than the US and European countries. The paper cautioned on regulatory differences in Asia, the variety of infrastructure and legal issues, and the language and cultural hurdles, but concluded that as transparency in the regulatory environment in Asia improves, the region was poised to become the preferred destination for clinical trials.

Commenting on the paper, Novotech CEO Dr. John Moller said, \"Asia is an increasingly attractive destination for our biotech clients. The huge patient pools available in Asia are mainly concentrated in easily accessible urban areas, meaning that trials tend to recruit faster. In addition, the cost of trials in most Asian countries is significantly lower than the West.

\"Now is an exciting time for clinical trials taking place in Asia. There are a number of large, state-of-the-art clinical trial centers in Asia that meet patient enrolment and retention goals, generate high-quality data, and are led by globally recognized key opinion leaders,\" added Dr Moller. \"Regulatory processes in Asia continue to become more streamlined. Novotech is actively working with a number of regulatory authorities and clinical trial centers to improve approval processes and timelines.\"