GERMANY IN NEW BOOST TO CLINICAL TRIALS MARKET
New market studies have highlighted recent statements by Germany's health ministry pledging a boost to local clinical trials activity. New funding worth EUR30mn (US$36.64mn) will be provided directly to researchers over the next three years.
The government funds are likely to target academic institutions rather than commercial product development. The funding is also the latest in a wave of investment beginning in the late 1990s, which created 12 regional "competence centres" in 1999 at a cost of roughly EUR225mn (US$274.75mn). Along with heavy investment in the medical departments of leading German universities intended to boost multi-centre international trials, officials estimate direct health ministry spending on the clinical trial sector since 1995 at some EUR400mn (US$488.29mn).
Despite the fresh spending, recent reports have highlighted a decline in domestic R&D activity, as much of the research base migrates to lower-cost locations such as Germany's new European Union (EU) neighbours. Nevertheless, for German original drug manufacturers -- which spend some 16.2% of sales on R&D each year -- this development is likely to prove positive in the final analysis.