Quintiles is setting up a contract research organization in China that will focus on Chinese companies and international firms doing business in that country.

Named Kun Tuo, its Pinyin characters roughly translate in English to “Discover New Frontier,” according to the company.

The world’s largest life science services firm has been doing business in China since 1997 and already has some 300 employees there. The new group is an integral part of Quintiles’ operations there.

The venture is the latest in a series of moves made by Quntiles to grow its presence in Asia. Quintiles expects to double its staff in China in 2012, according to Ling Zhen, Quintiles’ general manager in China.

Kun Tuo is starting with a staff of between 10-15 people with a goal of having 100 by the end of 2012 and as many as 300 by the end of 2014, according to a company spokesperson.

“Kun Tuo is a streamlined and flexible contract research organization built to suit the unique needs of the Chinese biopharma industry with a focus on China local studies,” Quintiles spokesperson Phil Bridges said.

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Bridges noted several points about the new group, including the fact that all are Chinese and can “work in both Mandarin and English.”

The Kun Tuo staff:

• Is Quintiles trained
• Its quality assurance team will be overseen by Quintiles
• Kun Tuo will use Quintiles study sites and “investigator pool”
• All employees will “undergo privacy training and ethical training in compliance with international standards”

“China is an integral component of the New Health landscape, fast becoming one of the key markets for biopharma development and innovation,” he added. New Health is Quintiles’ marketing slogan.

“As the pioneer for clinical research in China, Quintiles expects to see continued growth in demand for our services in the next couple of years and we will be offering bespoke solutions in response to the varied and unique business requirements of our business partners,” Bridges explained. “Kun Tuo is an example of how Quintiles continues to develop and build innovation solutions to meet the unique needs of our partners and the market.”

Service offerings will include clinical trial management, regulatory submission preparations, biostatistics and data management.

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