Quintiles added another partner to its Prime Site program—an initiative to accelerate drug development and gain access to more patients.
The latest alliance with the University of Pretoria in South Africa is the third location in the contract research organization’s (CRO’s) Prime Site effort, which already includes Queen Mary’s College in London and the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.
Through the Prime Site partnership, organizations like the University of Pretoria provide Quintiles access to its patients, clinicians and research facilities. In return, Quintiles provides training, onsite support and monetary investment to build the organization’s clinical research infrastructure.
“From the clinicians’ point of view, they can get actively involved in clinical research, which can help bring newer and better medicines to their patients, but some of the administrative elements of a study and some of the hurdles that they perhaps perceive in participation can be taken away,” said Quintiles spokesperson Charlotte Taylor.
Quintiles would not provide specific detail about the amount of its financial commitment to the University of Pretoria, but Gillian Corken, CEO, Quintiles Africa, called the investment a “fairly significant amount.”
The University of Pretoria comprises a large teaching hospital and 47 clinics in and around the city, which gives Quintiles access to thousands of patients in a wide-range of therapeutic areas, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, cardiovascular, endocrinology and oncology.
As a part of the agreement with the university, Quintiles funded a six-bed clinical trial unit, trained hospital staff, and will provide site coordinators to assist with the expected increase in clinical trial activity. In return, the University of Pretoria’s clinical research site is expected to enroll about 1,000 patients for Quintiles’ studies in the next two-and-a-half years.
“We have had an informal relationship with the University of Pretoria over the last 10 years. The Prime Site relationship has now formalized our relationship with the University of Pretoria’s clinical trials unit. We have access to all therapeutic areas within the hospital, and the investigators are very excited about this and what Quintiles is bringing to the table,” Corken said.
The agreement with University of Pretoria is open-ended, but Quintiles has committed to support the organization for at least two-and-a-half years.