Navigating a diverse and multi-cultural region
VP, General Management and Business Development, Head of Asia Pacific, ICON plc
Martin Lachs PhD
VP, Project Management, Oncology and Hematology, Clinical Research Services, ICON plc
Although Asia Pacific (APAC) is sometimes referred to as a homogenous unit, it is a heterogeneous region, with divergent countries, languages, populations and cultures. The main pharmaceutical markets, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia, have different business, labor and regulatory environments, so the characteristics of clinical development also differ. Clinical research in APAC is very well established, with high-quality research infrastructure, and some Centers of Excellence have leapfrogged the West, especially in IT and equipment. Many multinational pharmaceutical companies and CROs have been in the region for more than 20 years, so there is a great depth of experience to draw on. In terms of the value of the pharmaceutical market, China and Japan are second and third in the world, respectively, after the US, which reflects their importance in the overall global market. In this article, we review some of the characteristics of clinical research in APAC and some of the factors affecting it, particularly in oncology.