Triangle Business Journal by Chris Bagley, Staff Writer
Quintiles, a Durham-based contract research organization, said Wednesday that it was opening a business process outsourcing and project management center in Dalian.
The new office in northeast China will provide several different types of services to biopharmas, including data management, biostatistics and medical writing for biopharma companies. The office also will support clinical operations for study sites in northeast China.
Quintiles said in a news release that it expects the office to grow to 500 employees in the next several years once all services are fully established. It will be the company’s fourth hub office in Greater China. Quintiles already has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Separately, Quintiles also said Wednesday that it had made a $5 million investment in a British startup that identifies substances associated with various cancers.
The company, Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, has offices in Oxford and Reading, England. Quintiles is the company’s largest shareholder, Quintiles said in a news release Wednesday morning. The University of Oxford and two Oxford scientists are also major shareholders, according to Quintiles. Quintiles spokesman Jay Johnson said Quintiles invested 3 million British Pounds, or about $4.6 million, for a 27.5 percent stake in OCB.
One of the individual owners, Nick La Thangue, is the chairman of cancer biology at the university and the developer of certain technologies to be used by the company. The second, David Kerr, is a professor of cancer medicine and will serve as the company’s chief medical officer.
“Biomarkers” refers to a wide range of cells and organic chemicals that can give key information about associated cancers. Quintiles said the new company will work with Quintiles’ consulting and global laboratory divisions.
“Biomarkers hold great promise to improve trial success rates by identifying patient sub-groups most likely to respond to treatment, increasing the probability of trial success and improving patient safety,” said Ben Cons,
Quintiles’ vice president of corporate development.