Sofia, Bulgaria-based, American-owned contract research organization AbCRO opened two offices in Russia.
The St. Petersburg office has three employees and will be in charge of operations, while the Moscow office has one person and runs regulatory affairs. AbCRO has one active oncology clinical trial in Russia now and is bidding on others.
“Russia is the biggest country in our region. We had an existing client base that was interested in working with us if we had operations in Russia, so we decided that it was time that we did,” Dana Leff, chief executive officer of AbCRO, told CWWeekly at the DIA EuroMeeting in Barcelona.
AbCRO was founded in 1999 and had two employees with an office in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a marketing office in Stamford, Conn. From 2001 to 2006, the company grew strongly, nearly doubling its employees between 2005 and 2006. “Between 2006 and 2007, our revenues more than doubled and our staff increased by about 60%. Our projections for revenue growth this year are about 60%,” said Leff.
AbCRO currently has 170 employees. AbCRO also has offices in Bucharest and Cluj, Romania; Zagreb, Croatia; and Belgrade, Serbia. In addition, the company opened an office in Warsaw, Poland, last year.
The company also has a clinical research associate in Kiev, Ukraine, with plans to open an office there soon. AbCRO has always had a business model that required clinical research associates to be full-time employees, which differentiates the company from some other CROs in the region.
Leff added that the company is planning to conduct feasibility studies in Azerbaijan. That country´s capital city, Baku, has a population of about 4 million and has good infrastructure. Azerbaijan’s average income levels are also a bit higher than those of neighboring countries.