Edinburgh research firm signs Asia-Pacific deal

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Caritas CEO, Leigh Fell
Caritas CEO, Leigh Fell

An Edinburgh-based life sciences business has signed a landmark partnership agreement with an Indian company to enable it to run specialist clinical trials across south-east Asia.

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Caritas Neuro Solutions has teamed up with Mumbai-based biometrics company Innvocept Solutions as part of its strategy to become a world leader in mental health and neurology research.

The firm is now able to run full service pharmaceutical and biotechnology clinical trials across the globe with staff based throughout India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Singapore in addition to existing capabilities across Europe.

Caritas, which launched in April 2017, is one of the world’s first commercial CROs (clinical research organisations) to specialise solely in neurological diseases and also a first in running the company in a “social enterprise” style business model.

The company’s profits are re-invested into running academic trials in mental health and mindset studies on behalf of charities and public sector organisations. Caritas is currently working with NHS staff union Unison Lothian to study the effects of emotional wellbeing coaching within their workforce.

Innvocept was set up with a similar aim of providing SMEs with cost-effective solutions for drug development to allow promising new therapies to reach patients more quickly.

Caritas CEO Leigh Fell said: “I am delighted that we have managed to make this partnership work as both companies share the same values of compassion, collaboration and integrity. Our skillsets complement each other and together we’ll be able to make a much more significant impact and really change lives.”

Life sciences has a strong history of success in Scotland and remains one of the country’s leading sectors, employing  around 40,000 people. International collaborations like the Caritas/Innvocept alliance are a key part of the Life Science Strategy for Scotland, which aims to grow the sector from its current baseline of £5.2 billion to £8 billion by 2025.  

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