Southeast Asia

The countries Polaris focuses on are Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan There is an unrealised potential for conducting GCP-compliant clinical trials in these countries, because they have a good social infrastructure, qualified physicians and a low level of clinical trials per potential investigational site compared with some other countries. They also have tremendous access to a burgeoning patient pool.

The majority of all the present and potential investigational sites in these countries capitalise on a refined referral system in a well-connected large government-run central processing system, which is bolstered by the finest private institutes. Just like other emerging regions, there are highly capable (USA/European trained) physicians, who have access to patients for whom a clinical trial may be a suitable and legitimate treatment option. Some countries are better suited to investigating some disease indications than others — nevertheless many treatment naïve patients are accessible. The individual countries’ cultural, commercial and religious differences, once understood, can be readily addressed and pre-empted so that clinical operations are not compromised.

The concurrent regulatory and EC/IRB processing supports shorter timelines for clinical trial approvals allowing efficient and effective conduct of trials at site level. Just as with other emerging regions, there are major advantages such as high levels of patient interest in study participation, lower costs and high scalability through hospital and physician networks.

The Polaris team is best positioned to help navigate regional variances and access solutions through optimal local preferred partners that allow GCP-compliant trials to be conducted in populations facing dual disease burdens, not only from clinical conditions associated with those countries, but also from diseases previously associated with Western lifestyles and behaviours.