A MAJOR American drug development company has signed a five-year exclusive deal with Royal Liverpool Hospital.
The move will mean Covance Inc and the Trust – which also runs Broadgreen Hospital – will work together on early clinical trials on behalf of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Management and the global drug development company are remaining tight-lipped about how much the deal is worth financially.
However, the Post understands the partnership will complement work being done at the Royal to expand its clinical trials unit, which is scheduled for 2017, and contribute towards the city becoming a major biosciences hub.
It is also understood that patients will benefit from the increased opportunity to participate in early clinical research which could see them access the latest medicines before they breakthrough to widespread use.
The agreement is said to provide a “unique opportunity to build innovative solutions for high-quality early clinical research in a safe and regulated environment at a time when more sponsors are looking to develop studies that call for the recruitment of healthy volunteers and patients”.
Covance has been conducting Phase I studies (studies where new drugs are being administered to humans for the first time) across its network of clinics for more than 35 years, including its clinical research unit in Leeds.
The agreement between the Trust and Covance will focus on early phase trials using the clinical research unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Professor Robert Sutton, director of research and development at the trust, said: “This is an extremely exciting collaboration with Covance and represents an industry-leading relationship in the world of clinical research.
“We have a successful track record in the field of experimental medicine and are unique in the UK in our investment in clinical pharmacology along with our position in the local health and life science industry.
“We have the ability to work with new technologies to enhance the effectiveness and safety of new medicines for our patients.”
Meanwhile, Rob Aspbury, vice president and general manager, Global Clinical Pharmacology Services at Covance, said: “This is an innovative alliance which is designed to help make the drug development process more efficient and ultimately bring important drugs to market sooner to help patients in need.”