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Australian-Based CRO Novotech Pty Ltd. Unveils Plans To Open Operations In U.S. At Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) 2004

10/19/2005 5:11:40 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Riding on a wave of successful bids for U.S. clinical trials contracts, Novotech CEO Alek Safarian will outline plans to open operations in the U.S. at this week's BIO 2004, San Francisco ( ). During the conference Safarian will host functions with biotech executives and VCs to discuss Novotech's work over the past three years with more than 15 U.S.-based pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as many major European pharmas.

Novotech CEO Alek Safarian is available for media and analyst inquiries throughout the week by contacting Alison Minaglia, Partner, DatelineMedia/NY at (203) 972-3170 or Susan Fitzpatrick, Dateline Media/San Fran (650) 279 7771.

"The race to complete clinical trials and drug development plans means that U.S. biotech companies are increasingly taking an international perspective when deciding how, where, when they can complete their drug development programs as quickly as possible," commented Safarian.

Safarian pointed to US-based studies which have in recent years supported the increasing trend in outsourcing clinical research trials to Australia. A study by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (Tufts CSDD) noted that cutting one year from Phase III studies would save an estimated USD71.4 million in the total cost of a new drug. In addition, a 2001 Ernst and Young benchmarking study found that clinical research costs may be as much as 30% less than comparable Western countries such as the US and Europe. He added, "Australian regulatory procedures often enable a trial to begin in as little as 2-3 months from the initiation of the approval process."

William Spickler, MD, PhD, and Vice President off Pharmaceutical Development at Angiogenix, a US-based Novotech client whose treatments and therapies target cardiovascular, peripheral vascular and sickle cell diseases, noted additional reasons why companies include Australia in the investigational sites for a current cardiovascular study: 1) the population of patients are similar to those in the U.S. in terms of lifestyle and disease characteristics, 2) a common language and similar health care systems mean that the patient populations are comparable and 3) clinical investigators are well trained and are experienced in conducting clinical trials of this type. This capability will help support our efforts in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world."

About Novotech - Unsurpassed Local Knowledge and Network

Increasingly, U.S. companies are turning to Australia to expedite the pace, and reduce the cost, of clinical trials, while maintaining the high standard of research that U.S. experts demand. As the largest independent CROs in Australia, Novotech offers a level of flexibility and local knowledge that is virtually unmatched among other contract research organizations in the region. This has helped Novotech develop a strong client base in the United States and Europe.

Headquartered in Sydney, Novotech is focused on the Australian and New Zealand markets but has worldwide reach through the company's subsidiary in the United Kingdom and through key external partnerships and strategic alliances in North America and other regions.


CONTACT: Media/analyst: Alison Minaglia, DatelineMedia/NY,+1-203-972-3170, or Susan Fitzpatrick, DatelineMedia/West Coast,+1-650-279-7771, both for Novotech

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