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PPD Collaborates With Medical AI Firm To Expand Presence In China

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Feb 26, 2019
Wilmington-based Pharmaceutical Product Development has signed an agreement with Happy Life Tech to further clinical trials and drug development in China, according to a news release.

The collaboration pairs Happy Life Tech's (HLT) ability to generate artificial intelligence and data technology with PPD's clinical trial management and evidence generation, officials said.

HLT is a China-based medical AI company that has in-depth cooperation with regulators, universities and research institutes in China and other countries, according to the release.

Officials said the company contributes to the collaboration in its ability to "generate AI-enabled solutions and its growing network of prominent physicians and more than 100 leading hospitals in 22 Chinese providences." 

The agreement between the companies intends to provide pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients with services in China, including clinical study protocol design, site selection, patient recruitment and real-world evidence, stated the release. 
 
The collaboration is designed to address unmet clinical needs in China, officials said.

PPD, a global contract research organization, has nearly 20 years of experience in the Asia-Pacific region and already provides a broad range of Phase I-IV services in the global region, officials said. It has clinical trial operations based in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as central laboratory facilities in Shanghai.

“Our collaboration with HLT will provide PPD’s clients with exciting new opportunities in China,” David Simmons, chairman and chief executive officer of PPD, said in the release. “Our focus on sites with access to eligible patients is designed to speed patient recruitment at high-performing sites and to more effectively incorporate Chinese patients into global trials.

"We will help clients adapt study protocols to the China market, while helping sites enhance quality, drive performance and lead global multicenter trials. In addition, we will intelligently leverage real-world data in China to recruit patients with a high potential for participation in our clients’ studies and to generate real-world insights needed for market access and product uptake," he said.

Rujing Gong, founder of HTL, said he was excited about the collaboration with PPD, adding that it will significantly increase trial efficiency, reduce costs and benefit patients in China and around the world.

"We'll also help the Chinese pharma industry be more competitive in the global market through a better registration strategy," Gong said in the release. "China's research capability has been developing quickly and will play an important role in the global clinical development market in the future. We have a strong interest in being involved and in driving the process."
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