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Headquartered in Switzerland, SGS is known as the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification firm. Currently, the company is increasing its capacity to conduct human challenge studies. In collaboration with University Hospital Antwerp (Flanders), SGS is building a new clinical pharmacology unit (CPU) with a total capacity of 110 beds. This also includes a separate quarantine unit with 45 beds. The move to the new unit is planned mid 2021.

30 years of expertise in clinical research

The SGS CPU has been active in early-phase clinical research for 30 years, where therapeutic drugs and vaccines are tested on healthy volunteers. Currently, the CPU is actively involved in several clinical trials in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the SGS CPU has been conducting Human Challenge Trials (HCT) studies in its specially equipped 20-bed isolation unit for the past five years. HCTs, or controlled human infection models (CHIMs), validate the efficiency of a drug through realistic studies. For example, challenge studies with a self-developed weakened H3N2 (flu) virus as well as the first malaria challenge study in Belgium were carried out last year.

By expanding the quarantine capacity in our new CPU, we will be able to carry out more efficient and faster studies with large numbers of study participants.

Annick Van Riel
Clinical Pharmacology Unit director at SGS

Leading CRO

SGS Clinical Research is a contract research organization (CRO) that provides clinical research services and bioanalytical tests for Phase I through Phase IV clinical trials, specializing in infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and vaccines. As a leading CRO in the life sciences industry, SGS has more than 35 years of experience in clinical research and is perfectly placed to support biotech and pharmaceutical companies in designing and conducting clinical trials in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Clinical trials champion

The new SGS project only adds to Flanders’ innovative R&D ecosystem for pharmaceuticals and life sciences. The region not only boasts one of the fastest clinical trial procedures, but is also renowned around the world as a major vaccine and development hub.

Reported by
SGS press release

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