PUTRAJAYA, April 28 – Malaysia has surpassed the RM1 billion mark in gross national income of clinical research contract value generated since 2012. The country also reported more than 2000 sponsored research approved by the various ethics committes in the last decade, and thus ranks third among Southeast Asia countries in this field. This was revealed during the CRM launching ceremony of its 2022 Annual Report that was officiated by the Minister of Health, YB Dr. Zaliha Mustafa.

At the same time, the Minister also launched the Organization’s Anti-Corruption Plan (OACP 2023 – 2027). With the OACP in place, CRM emphasises its commitment in demonstrating integrity and holding on to its highest standards of ethics in its operations through its anti-bribery management system. Malaysia has been the destination of choice for many biopharmaceutical and contract research organizations especially with capable and experienced clinical research investigators who have been recognized in delivering clinical trials.

That meet the recruitment expectations of global multinational organizations, with many of Malaysia’s investigators achieving Global Top Recruiters and First Recruiters in their trials. With Malaysia’s track record, AstraZeneca Sdn Bhd formalized their collaboration with Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) and Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after the CRM Annual Report launch. The agreement marks SGH as a focused site in bringing in more international clinical trials.

Including early phase studies from AstraZeneca, one of the top global biopharmaceutical company. This MoU builds on SGH’s accreditation in 2019 as a Phase 1 site after successfully undergoing the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency Phase 1 Unit Inspection & Accreditation Programme. The inking of this MoU spells out opportunities to provide early access for patients with unmet medical needs as well as access to innovative medicines that can transform health outcomes and reduce the national disease burden.

hrough this collaboration, both parties agree to cooperate to achieve to a common goal, which is to deliver quality studies that meets international standards, support training for investigators and study team, and create more clinical trial opportunities to SGH.The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Health office in Putrajaya between Ms Pneh Tee Koon, Cluster Chief Financial Officer (signing the agreement as representative of AstraZeneca) and Dr Akhmal Yusof, CEO of CRM.

The event was witnessed by Dr Zaliha Mustafa, Minister of Health and Dr. Sanjeev Panchal, Company Director, AstraZeneca Malaysia. YB Dr Zaliha in her speech mentioned, “I am proud to note that last year recorded the highest number of sponsored reseach since CRM’s establishment a decade ago. With the investment that we have made in early phase development in the country, the MOU with AstraZeneca further consolidates the MOH effort in progressing the clinical research agenda in Malaysia for the betterment of our patients.”

Commenting on the partnership with CRM, Dr. Sanjeev said, “AstraZeneca is deeply committed to better understanding and serving patients by supporting Malaysia’s advancement as a world-class hub for clinical trials. To achieve this, our plan is to invest RM53.5 million by 2025, covering studies on the effectiveness of new therapies and for the establishment of a new Site Management and Monitoring (SMM) base in Malaysia. Since 2020, we have invested RM 14 million in clinical trials in Malaysia.

“AstraZeneca’s new SMM base will work closely with CRM and SGH as the primary centre to optimise the clinical trials’ study delivery and quality across 32 investigational sites in the country. SMM will also collaborate with AstraZeneca’s global R&D functions to execute pre-marketing internal delivery clinical studies, as well as work with local healthcare professionals, regulatory authorities, and ethics committees to manage the clinical trials,” Dr. Sanjeev further stated.

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