The UK-based contract research organisation operated in South Africa since 2007 but the addition of the HCTC increases its presence to four dedicated sites - along with nine affiliated centres in the country – and was described by Synexus’ CEO Dr Christophe Berthoux as “very complementary” both in terms of geography and capabilities.
“HCTC specialises in osteoporosis and metabolic disorders, including diabetes and obesity, covering the Capetown and Western Coast -an area we didn’t have before” he told Outsourcing-Pharma.com. He added that the centre would be carrying out mainly Phase II-IV trials, which account for 95% of Synexus’ business.
Synexus works with both Big Pharma and other CROs globally - both through straight up contracts and longer-term strategic partnerships - but the firm has been seeing an increased interest in South Africa over the past few years which Berthoux said was due to improvement in the regulatory submission process and the specific patient population.
“Sponsors are very interested in this region, and South Africa is a gateway to Africa as a whole,” he said, with a history in “medical clinical trials, very well trained doctors, and patient populations different to those in Western countries.”
According to studies reported on the website clinicaltrials.gov, only 2% of trials worldwide occur in Africa, and of the 4060 recorded on the continent almost half (1906) are being carried out in South Africa.
As for Synexus, Berthoux said the firm would continue to expand in South Africa and, depending on where the market goes, “may explore other ventures in Africa.”