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Japanese company rolls out SMO model for clinical trials in South Australia

Health

THE Tokyo-based company that pioneered a model for conducting more efficient clinical trials in Japan is introducing the system in Australia.

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I’rom Group reached a deal with pharmaceutical manufacturing and drug development company IDT Australia in October to invest AUS$10 million for a 61 per cent share in CMAX Clinical Research.

The integrated healthcare company plans to fully acquire CMAX, a Phase 1 clinical trials unit in the South Australian capital Adelaide later this year.

I’rom pioneered the Site Management Organisation (SMO) model for conducting clinical trials in Japan, a segment of the R&D market that is now valued at over AU$350 million a year in Japan and employs more than 5000 people.

The company will introduce SMOs to Australia from Adelaide, which is developing a reputation as a health research leader through its BioMed City precinct.

It also wants more clinical trials in South Australia by increasing the number of Asian companies conducting R&D in Adelaide.

I’rom Group CEO and President Toyotaka Mori visited the CMAX facility in Adelaide this week and announced the SMO rollout.

He said Adelaide was the ideal place for the company to grow its SMO business in Australia.

“Adelaide is a focal point in health and life sciences – a city where industry, government and academia work closely together, developing new medical technologies including regenerative and gene therapy,” he said.

SMOs coordinate the day-to-day operation of a clinical trial across sites from dedicated units like CMAX through to public and private hospitals.

Benefits of the SMO model include faster patient recruitment and more consistent patient follow-up, delivering studies cheaper and more efficiently.

CMAX’s new 50-bed Phase 1 clinical trials unit opened in 2016 and is located opposite Adelaide BioMed City, which includes the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), The University of Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences building and University of South Australia’s Health Innovation Building.

CMAX Clinical Research CEO Jane Kelly said it had a 23-year history of delivering R&D in Adelaide, including helping to conduct more than 550 trials. 


“With our new 50-bed facility, and the backing of I’rom, CMAX is set for a bigger and better future,” she said.

The South Australian Government is trying to evolve the state’s economy from traditional industries such as manufacturing to sustainable knowledge-intensive industries.

“The life sciences sector is an important part of this – it delivers hi-tech, high value jobs for South Australians,” Health Industries Minister Jack Snelling said.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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