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Clinical Research and Development in Asia Presents a New Frontier

Many life science companies now view Asia as a critical piece of their clinical development strategy, according to our recent emerging markets clinical development study. Executives participating in the study identified the top two benefits of utilizing trials sites in Asia as budget savings and faster trial completion.

Time and Money

“With more than three billion potential volunteers in Asia, clinical teams have been able to accelerate their clinical trials,” said Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information. “Many of these populations have not historically had access to high-quality healthcare so patient recruitment is faster and patient retention is higher.”

“In addition to saving time, all study respondents reported that they saved money by conducting their trials in Asia,” said research analyst Michelle Vitko. “Over 50 percent of our research partners reduced their trial costs by between a quarter and a half of traditional operations.”

Clinical trials in Asia still present many challenges for teams accustomed to working in Europe, the United States, Japan and other well-established markets. For example, 67 percent of surveyed executives responsible for clinical operations in China have experienced at least one regulatory delay. However, 63 percent of those respondents still reported saving time as a top competitive benefit for trials conducted in Asia. “There are fewer competing trials in Asia compared to more established markets, making it easier to recruit patients,” said Richardson. “The patient population also has less exposure to other treatments and therefore more clearly demonstrates a new medicine’s effectiveness.”

Building a More Favorable Environment for Clinical Success

Executives pointed to a variety of factors that have improved in Asia over the last ten years, including:

  • Clearer standards for investigator education and conduct
  • Adherence to global standards for site management and data quality
  • Reliability of medical infrastructure, trial technology and regional supply chain management
  • Local staff’s available knowledge base and capabilities
  • Their own understanding of each market’s unique cultural characteristics
  • Predictability of regulatory environments
  • Enforcement of intellectual property laws and practices
  • Global and local staffs’ ability to accurately project total costs


Ryan McGuire
Head of Research

Clinical trial patient recruitment
Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment
Clinical Trials Latin America
Emerging Markets: Latin America Clinical Trials
Emerging Markets Clinical Trials BRIC
Emerging Markets Clinical Trials: BRIC Countries

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