The partnership with Spectrum, a CRO/site management organization in Mumbai, will enable Radiant to manage and monitor clinical trials conducted in India, as well as offer seven sites in India through the Spectrum network. Radiant’s agreement with Spectrum is still evolving, according to Radiant’s vice president of late phase clinical research Julie McHugh, who would not disclose the terms of the deal.
“The way we’re approaching it is, essentially, if a client is looking for global services either in the CRO or site market, then we would explore utilizing Spectrum and vice versa,” McHugh explained. “It will be very streamlined in terms of the feasibility that we can provide will still be central, there will still be a central contract, central budget…so that seamlessness of working with Radiant will be extended to working with Spectrum.”
Radiant, which has a full-service CRO, a patient recruitment division and 24 sites in the United States, is owned by an Indian private-equity company, ICICI Ventures, so expanding into India was a natural next step for the company.
“It made sense just because of the fact that we do have people in India that could help us to get into this market and introduce us to some of these companies that we looked at,” McHugh said. “We did some due diligence in looking at several different partnerships and that’s when we learned about Spectrum and found that they were the best opportunity for us to explore.”
Spectrum was selected as Radiant’s partner after several months of due diligence, McHugh said.Although Radiant has not previously worked with Spectrum, a number of other companies endorsed the company.
India’s clinical trial industry was the subject of some scrutiny late last year following a report in The Times of London that as many as 49 infants died during clinical trials at the government-owned All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. Critics have questioned the country’s ability to appropriately staff testing facilities and monitor safety, but McHugh says the industry there continues to grow.
“I think there’s always concern when you’re looking at going into a country where the FDA doesn’t necessarily have quite the reach that it would like to,” she said. “That’s why I think it’s important for a company like Radiant to go in and to be able to audit a partner to make sure that they’re delivering the same type of research that we do here in the States. That’s why we’re very comfortable with Spectrum.”
While this partnership in India made sense for Radiant because of its ownership being located there, the company is open to growing its global footprint through other countries, either through partnerships or expansions. “We’re always looking. These emerging markets are something that we definitely we want to continue to explore,” McHugh said.