PRA International and US Oncology Enter Strategic Alliance
By: US Oncology Corporate Communications HOUSTON and RESTON, VA, January 24, 2007 – PRA International [NASDAQ: PRAI], a leading global clinical research organization, and US Oncology Research, one of the largest cancer research networks, have entered into an agreement designed to accelerate the clinical development of new cancer treatments in the United States.
“PRA, as a global leader in oncology clinical development, constantly seeks ways to help our sponsor clients develop drugs more quickly and efficiently,” said Kent Thoelke, Vice President and Head of Therapeutic Expertise at PRA. “This alliance with US Oncology provides us with expanded access to patients and investigators, which will translate into faster study start-up, patient accrual and a more productive development process for our clients.”
This new agreement will align the operational processes between the two organizations and reduce the potential for redundancies or conflicts that can hamper the timely implementation of a trial. For example, utilizing US Oncology’s historical working relationships with each of the research sites, a more detailed feasibility can be performed to accurately forecast the eligible population and timeframes required for the trial. Also, by eliminating the duplication of reviewing regulatory documents or site qualification, regulatory review can occur in a more timely manner.
“In order to hasten the development of new oncotherapeutic agents, it is essential that we consistently evaluate and identify opportunities to streamline clinical trial operational processes,” said Dr. Atul Dhir, M.B. B.S., D.Phil., president of the Cancer Information Research Group for US Oncology. “As one of the largest oncology clinical research networks, it is imperative that we lead the effort to address any inefficiencies that may impede the timely implementation of clinical trials in a community-based cancer care setting and slow the overall development of new therapies that could potentially make significant changes in the lives of cancer patients. We believe that building relationships with other oncology research leaders, like PRA, is a progressive step in the right direction.”
US Oncology Research is an established community-based research operation specializing in Phase I-IV cancer clinical trials, and currently has 536 physicians actively enrolling patients across the country, 88 research sites, and 72 open research trials. This highly experienced, national network of leading cancer researchers has contributed to the development of 23 of 29 of the latest cancer-fighting drugs approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. More than 30,000 patients have participated in clinical trials managed by US Oncology network practices.
“Oncology drug development is a global undertaking, but having expanded access to patients in North America is vital to any development program,” added Thoelke. “This is a scaleable partnership that we are replicating with investigator networks around the globe.”
To learn how the PRA-US Oncology alliance can aid your drug development efforts, please contact your PRA or US Oncology Research representative.
About PRA International PRA International is one of the world's leading global clinical development organizations, with over 2,700 employees working from offices in North America, Europe, South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. PRA, an ISO 9001:2000 registered company, delivers services to its clients through a unique approach called Project Assurance®, which represents the Company's commitment to reliable service delivery, program-level therapeutic expertise, easy, global access to knowledge and involved senior management. To learn more about PRA International, please visit http://www.prainternational.com or call our World Headquarters at +1 (703) 464-6300.
About US Oncology, Inc. US Oncology, headquartered in Houston, supports one of the nation’s largest cancer treatment and research networks. US Oncology provides extensive services and support to its affiliated cancer care sites nationwide to help them expand their offering of the most advanced treatments and technologies, build integrated community-based cancer care centers, improve their therapeutic drug management programs, and participate in many of the new cancer-related clinical research studies. US Oncology also provides a broad range of services to pharmaceutical manufacturers, including product distribution and informational services such as data reporting and analysis.
According to the company's last quarterly earnings report, US Oncology is affiliated with 1029 physicians operating in 411 locations, including 91 radiation oncology facilities in 35 states.
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