Covance Celebrates 10th Anniversary Milestone in Singapore
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— Expands Singapore central laboratory to one of largest in South East Asia; Larger capacity strengthens Covance global clinical trial laboratory services in Asia Pacific —
Singapore, April 7, 2006 — On the occasion of its 10th year of operations in Singapore, Covance Inc. today announced the opening of its newly expanded central laboratory here, making it one of the largest in South East Asia. The Singapore laboratory now has four times its former capacity to support Covance's biopharmaceutical clients in their global clinical trials.
Ms Deborah Tanner, Senior Vice President of Covance Inc. and President of Covance Central Laboratory Services, who is in Singapore for the official opening of the expanded central laboratory by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts & Health, Dr Balaji Sadasivan, said, "This, the second expansion of our facility in Singapore, is indicative of Covance's commitment to support the growth and opportunities that we see in the region. We are investing through on-going expansion of our building and laboratory capacity, and through a continuing focus on implementing standardised systems, processes and technology throughout our global network of laboratories."
In conveying the Singapore Government's support for development of the Biomedical Sciences industry, Dr Balaji said, "We are pleased that Covance has expanded its size of the current central laboratory. This expansion is timely and well positioned to capitalise on the increased clinical trial outsourcing by global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to Singapore and the Asia Pacific. It also underlines Singapore's position today to establish a comprehensive infrastructure dedicated to support the Biomedical Sciences industry."
Improving regulatory environment helps Covance direct more clinical trials to Asia
"Although lengthy regulatory timelines in some Asian countries, such as China, can be a challenge when conducting clinical trials, the overall regulatory picture in the region is improving," said Ms Tanner. "One example of the more facilitative regulatory environment is the collaboration between Singapore's Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)." Further, there have been multiple regulatory reforms introduced to reduce significantly regulatory timelines in certain Asian markets. She said that the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is working to provide a framework for harmonisation of requirements for ASEAN countries and improve the regulatory infrastructure needed to provide quality in regulatory review procedures.
Singapore pivotal in helping Covance serve the rest of the region
Covance began operations in Singapore in 1996, offering clinical development services in the region. The Covance Singapore central laboratory was officially opened in 2000. Today, the Company's clinical development and central laboratory teams in Singapore work together to deliver integrated clinical trial services throughout Asia Pacific. Covance will continue to upgrade the Singapore laboratory, Ms Tanner said, to provide biopharmaceutical clients fast and efficient access to in-region laboratory data for clinical trials. The facility provides round-the-clock blood and other testing services for countries across the region, including South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, India and Indonesia. Ms Tanner said the prohibition of shipment of whole blood samples by some Asian countries; China for example, poses a challenge for multinational, multi-centre trials that use a conventional central laboratory. In response to these challenges, Covance offers its Covance Virtual Central LaboratorySM service. Ms Tanner continued, "The Covance Virtual Central Laboratory offers sponsors a practical way to overcome these challenges and to harmonize laboratory results from local or regional laboratories and collate them into a single, global database."
Covance supports Singapore's development as life sciences hub
Ms. Tanner recognised that Singapore's life sciences sector was increasing rapidly. "An obvious sign of Singapore's commitment to the domestic industry is the local government's US$300 million Biopolis research centre with its 2,000 researcher capacity. The Biopolis is a timely and prudent investment by the Singapore government. Indeed, the Asia Pacific region represents a basin of opportunities that supports the Singapore government's vision of its life sciences hub." "This region represents the largest patient base in the world impacted by illnesses like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and infectious diseases. More than 70% of new drugs in the worldwide pipeline are targeting these major therapeutic areas and hence this is a significant advantage that the region and Singapore has to offer to the multinational biopharmaceutical sector. Efficient and timely shipping of biological samples is critical to the success of the central laboratory business model, and Singapore's reputation as an excellent transportation hub was a key factor in our decision to establish the Covance central laboratory here. Covance is honoured to partner with the Singapore government in helping sponsors conduct their clinical trials in this region." Ms Tanner concluded "The Economic Development Board of Singapore has been a most helpful partner to Covance. With the local government support over the past decade, Covance has made great strides in the region. Our global biopharmaceutical clients are increasingly looking to Asia Pacific and to the Covance team as they look to complete their pivotal clinical trials efficiently and safely — in order to bring their medical therapies to market sooner and meet the health challenges and needs of a growing and ageing population in this part of the world."
Covance Asia Pacific highlights and recent milestones
- Covance Central Laboratory Services has managed over 550 trial studies across Asia Pacific
- Covance overcame the challenges of transporting blood samples out of China by working with the Centre of Laboratory Medicine of Hua Shan Hospital in Shanghai to provide the required, high-quality laboratory service in-country
- In China alone, Covance managed over 100 investigator sites and more than 2,200 patients
- 2006: Strengthening of Covance laboratory testing capabilities in Asia Pacific. Covance dedicated central laboratory in Singapore achieved certification by the College of American Pathologists (CAP)
- 2006: Covance expanded kit production facilities in Sydney, Australia
- 2006: Quadrupling of Covance Singapore central laboratory testing facilities including expanded quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing
- 2005: National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) — Level 1 certification of the Hua Shan hospital regional laboratory
- 2005: Covance launched new capabilities for its web-based LabLinkSM tool for monitoring clinical trial laboratory test results to provide Covance global customers with near real-time access to information pertaining to the management of their test specimens and the status of time-sensitive kits supplied to their investigator sites
- 2004: Added quantitative PCR testing services to the Singapore central laboratory.
Covance, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive drug development services companies with annual revenues greater than $1 billion, global operations in more than 20 countries, and more than 7,300 employees worldwide. Information on Covance's products and services, recent press releases, and SEC filings can be obtained through the Covance website.
Cautionary Statements Statements contained in this press release, which are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All such forward-looking statements including the statements contained herein regarding anticipated trends in the Company's business are based largely on management's expectations and are subject to an qualified by risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, competitive factors, outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical industry, levels of industry research and development spending, the Company's ability to continue to attract and retain qualified personnel, the fixed price nature of contracts or the loss of large contracts, and other factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Covance, the Covance logo and StudyTrac ker are registered service marks and "Covance Virtual Central Laboratory" and LabLink are service marks of Covance in the United States and other countries.