Quintiles (NYSE:Q) is working with the government of Vietnam in a partnership that could lead to new medicines to fight tropical and infectious diseases in that country and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Durham-based Quintiles is the largest provider of pharmaceutical services, including conducting clinical trials for experimental medicines. Under the two-year agreement announced late Tuesday, Quintiles and the Vietnam Ministry of Health’s Administration of Science, Technology and Training (ASTT) will each commit resources to forming a larger working group to address various topics related to clinical trials. Quintiles says the collaboration will contribute toward a long-term plan for “improving the quality, scope and breadth of clinical research in Vietnam.”

The resources for the partnership, financial or otherwise, were not specified by Quintiles or the ASTT. But Quintiles officials in Vietnam characterize the partnership as “a natural progression of our working relationship with the local government and it reinforces our commitment to develop medicines to fight tropical and infectious diseases and other conditions afflicting populations in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.” 

Quintiles has been working with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health to provide investigator training and site development since the company first established a presence in the country in 2005. Quintiles Vietnam LLC has offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Quintiles says it is the first global CRO with a wholly-owned foreign enterprise in Vietnam that has a business license to conduct clinical trial services in that country. The company believes the collaboration is the first of its kind between Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and a global clinical research organization.