New facility has 34 beds that will help expedite drug development.

Clinical CRO Icon officially opened a purpose-built clinical pharmacology unit within the U.K.’s Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust campus in Manchester. Ireland-based Icon says the 34-bed hospital-based unit means it now has a global capacity for Phase I trials of over 280 beds.

In addition to 24-hour in-patient and emergency services, the new facility includes a sample-handling laboratory and four environmentally controlled pharmacodynamic testing units for continuing work in the field of modeling complex pathologies to identify early signs of compound efficacy in disorders such as neuropathic pain, anxiety, and cognitive degeneration.

“The opening of this translational medicine unit further demonstrates our commitment to streamlining the process that guides new compounds through the early phases of development into treatments that improve human health,” states Icon group president, Alan Morgan. “Our collaborative relationship with the CMFT and the location of the new unit on one of the largest teaching hospitals in the U.K. facilitates unrivalled access to the expertise, specialist procedures, and patient populations necessary to bring life-saving medicines to market faster.”

Icon offers a broad range of services for pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device development. The firm specializes in development services for preclinical and Phase I trials, together with a full range of integrated services for Phase II through IV studies as well as laboratory and bioanalytical services.

At the end of June Icon opened its new Central Laboratories facility in Tianjin, China, in partnership with Fountain Medical Development. The Chinese laboratory is the firm’s third in the Asia-Pacific region. It will offer a range of testing services including chemistry, haematology, coagulation, and immunology. The site is CAP (College of American Pathologists) accredited and NGSP Level I certified.

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