The Asia-Pacific’s largest specialist biotech CRO Novotech said many countries in the region were now fast-tracking their COVID-19 clients’ clinical trials with expedited review processes for treatment and vaccine candidates.

A Novotech client’s COVID-19 trial was just approved in under 9 days in South Korea.

The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) has announced “GO-expedite” program where they are expediting the review process for COVID-19 treatment and vaccine trials with specific timelines.

Other countries are also fast-tracking COVID-19 trial reviews including:

  • India: review/approval in 10 working days  
  • Thailand: review/approval in 15 working days
  • Malaysia: review/approval in 20 working days

Novotech is currently helping several biotechnology companies in the development of new COVID-19 therapies.

Novotech has a rich experience in vaccine and infectious disease trials and is well positioned to implement rapid clinical studies in the Asia-Pacific region. Partnering with the right CRO can help biotechnology companies find patients and contain the escalating costs of R&D with optimal study designs.

Increased demand for COVID trials in APAC

Commenting the news, Novotech Executive Director Asia Operations Dr. Yooni Kim said she was pleased to see such a rapid response in the region to support vital research.

“We are seeing an increase in demand from biotechnology sponsors for studies in the Asia-Pacific region because of the speed and quality available here. This expedited review process will further support the race for COVID-19 treatments.”

A growing number of biotechs are looking at Asia-Pacific for their Covid-19 trials to take advantage of large patient pools and fast-track procedures. Over 350 clinical trials are currently occurring or planned across the APAC region according to GlobalData, a provider of Healthcare data analytics.

Asia has become a key location for clinical trials, driven by its large patient population, scale of medical facilities, government support for clinical trials, strategic importance of Asian economies as end consumer markets, lower trial costs, and high-quality standards. Moreover, Asia offers access to large numbers of treatment-naïve participants in urban populations who are willing to participate in trials.

A majority of sites interested in new studies

Enormous progress has been made across the Asia-Pacific region allowing clinical trials to continue. A majority of sites continue to be interested in new studies and the review and approval of non-COVID-19 clinical trials are continuing across Asia-Pacific.

Many sites across Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan for example appear to adapt to the situation well. A majority of sites are still able to deliver the clinical trial for biotech clients. Some sites are reconfiguring their operations to work in the new environment such as undertaking increased levels of remote monitoring.

South Korea in particular has handled the epidemic with one of the world’s most efficient and fast responses to reduce the virus spread. South Korea is known to host some of the largest hospitals in the world which are also highly active in biotech clinical research.

For the latest updates on the Asia-Pacific clinical trial landscape see our Data Bulletins (updated weekly). View and Download the COVID-19 Asia-Pacific Data Bulletins here.

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