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Global Partnership for South West Clinical Trials


Clinical trials and research centres across the South West have come together to form a partnership with Quintiles, the world’s leading biopharmaceutical service organisation, to create the Peninsula Prime Site.


Quintiles approached organisations that carry out clinical trials in the South West via the University of Exeter, with a view to establishing a Quintiles Prime Site. The Peninsula Prime Site comprises clinical research facilities and academics at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), Devon Partnership NHS Trust, the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, South Devon NHS Healthcare Trust and Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.


Clinical research ultimately brings new and better medicines to patients and this partnership will ensure that patients and physicians in the South West are active participants in this important activity. The majority of clinical trials are conducted across international borders and by participating in clinical research experts in the South West will be able to foster relationships with companies and academics outside the region. 


The result will be that more clinical trials across a wide range of disease areas will be conducted in the South West, with ongoing benefits to the economy in the region and health research around the world. The work carried out by teams within the Peninsula Prime Site will also provide patients and members of the general public with more opportunities to volunteer to join clinical trials in the South West.



The Quintiles Prime Site in the South West was finalised at a signing at the University of Exeter.

The signing ceremony. Left to right: Peter Aitken, Devon Partnership NHS Trust; Steven Jermy, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust; Vaughan Lewis, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust; Dennis Gillings, Quintiles; Prof Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor, University of Exeter; Paul Upton, Royal Cornwall NHS Trust; and Ben Benjamin, South Devon NHS Trust


Professor Angela Shore, Vice Dean Research at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, said: “We have excellent clinical trials facilities in the South West which already support world class research. Our partnership with Quintiles will be a productive collaboration which will greatly enhance the capacity, range and quality of clinical trials work carried out in the region, providing wider opportunities for participating institutions and their academics, and members of the public and patients across the South West.”


“There is significant pressure to speed the drug development process in order to develop treatments that enable people to live healthier lives,” said Lindy Jones, Global Head of Integrated Site Services. “We are proud to be working with the teams from across the South West who have come together to create the Peninsula Prime Site. This alliance will further enhance our ability to recruit patients and investigators who are critical to an efficient and effective drug development process. The spirit of collaboration from the whole team has been exceptional and I am confident that together we will ensure that the South West of England plays an increasing role in global drug development.”


Professor Janice Kay, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Exeter, said: “The South West NHS has established a reputation for providing leading healthcare for our population.  The University of Exeter, with Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, is proud to have contributed to this mission. Becoming a Quintiles Prime Site will help us play a key role in developing new treatments, further benefitting people in the region and across the world.  We were delighted that Quintiles decided to base this important centre in the South West Peninsula. It endorses everything we've done over the past ten years.”


Joint Medical Director at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Vaughan Lewis, said: "This contract reflects the success of the partnership between the RD&E and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in supporting clinical research of new treatments under development by the UK pharmaceutical industry. Involvement in research offers potential advantages to patients as well as maintaining the reputation of the RD&E and the PCMD as stimulating places to work thereby continuing to attract staff of the highest calibre to Exeter."


Dr Simon Rule, Associate Medical Director for Research and Development in Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Our Trust has doubled the number of patients involved in research studies recently, with total patient recruitment up from 2,048 in 2008/09 to 4,679 in 2010/11.Quintiles choosing the Peninsula as one of their prime sites will further increase our ability to attract clinical research, in particular trials for new drug treatments in areas such as cancer research. Every treatment we deliver is based on research and the only way we will continue to improve outcomes for our patients is by doing more research. The arrival in the south west of such a large and influential research organisation is a magnificent boost to our research endeavours.”


Paul Upton, Medical Director for Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust said: "Being a part of the Peninsula Prime Site is a great opportunity for us to develop our role as a teaching hospitals trust.  Our research activity has grown considerably in recent years and this partnership will open doors to many more opportunities to be at the forefront of medical advances, which has to be good news for our patients.  Coupled with the work about to start on the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre adjacent to the Royal Cornwall Hospital site, the potential for research and medical business growth in the Cornwall is hugely exciting."


Paula Vascoe-Knight, Chief Executive of South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Being a partner in the Quintiles Prime Site puts our Trust and our NHS partners at the pinnacle of international clinical research, giving our staff the opportunity to work with the latest innovations in medicine and enabling patients to benefit from new advances in treatment earlier than ever before.”


The Quintiles Prime Site in the South West joins a number of other Prime Sites across the globe in Asia/Pacific, Europe, Africa and the US.


Patients and members of the general public who want to know more about how they can get involved, or who wish to know more about clinical trials can visit


About Quintiles 

Quintiles is the only fully integrated biopharmaceutical services company offering clinical, commercial, consulting and capital solutions worldwide. The Quintiles network of more than 20,000 engaged professionals in 60 countries works with an unwavering commitment to patients, safety and ethics. Quintiles helps biopharmaceutical companies navigate risk and seize opportunities in an environment where change is constant. For more information, please visit


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