World Courier, a global provider of specialty logistics and a part of AmerisourceBergen, will open a new investigational drug depot in Moscow, Russia, in August. The new facility will better position World Courier to meet the growing demands to provide comprehensive clinical support, such as temperature-controlled solutions and distribution needs, in a rapidly emerging market for conducting clinical trials.
The state-of-the-art facility is nearly six times larger than the company’s current Moscow depot, enabling World Courier to add solutions and service capabilities that will result in increased product safety and operational efficiency for its customers. Pharmaceutical manufacturers conducting clinical trials in Moscow will have access to a variety of new services, including local sourcing of comparator drugs and secondary packaging and labeling, which allows for late-stage customization of products.
“Our expanded capabilities in Moscow is a reflection of our customers evolving and growing demand for high-quality solutions in what has become an increasingly popular market for hosting clinical trials,” said John Butler, president of World Courier. “Our increased capacity and added service offerings will enable us to better serve manufacturer needs and, ultimately, enhance the clinical trial process.”
Staffed by full-time pharmacists, the depot provides comprehensive logistical solutions for investigational therapies and trial-related materials in temperature-controlled settings. The new facility bolsters World Courier’s global network of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant drug depots across 14 international markets. In addition to serving clinical trial logistics needs, the facility is licensed to support commercial 3PL distribution for specialty products and features an expanded storage area, which includes pallet racking in controlled room temperature (CRT) and the cold chamber.
Russia, in particular, has emerged as a popular destination for pharmaceutical manufacturers seeking to host clinical trials outside the United States and Western Europe. The country boasts a highly-urbanized healthcare system, trained medical personnel, lower costs and high patient recruitment and retention rates. Of the 123 new drug therapies approved by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in 2015, 50 were studied in Russia. Experts say the number of clinical trials in Russia could double by 2020.
“We always seek opportunities to bolster World Courier’s presence in global markets, and in this case, we believe the upgraded service offerings will help our customers in the Moscow market drive better business outcomes,” said Doug Cook, president of Global Specialty Logistics at AmerisourceBergen. “As pharmaceutical companies increasingly expand into global markets to conduct clinical trials, we want to ensure that they have access to resources and high-quality infrastructure that maximizes product safety and improves operational efficiency.”