iMedGlobal to invest $3 million in PH operations

By Catherine N. Pillas, BusinessMirror

Posted at Aug 27 2014 07:30 AM | Updated as of Aug 27 2014 03:30 PM

MANILA - iMedGlobal Corp., a newly established contract-research firm in the Philippines, is investing $3 million (P129.9 million) to expand its local operations into a Center of Excellence with expanded services.

It also seeks to increase its employment base in its expansion plan.

“Based on our expansion, by the end of this year, we should be close to about 100 people, and there will be an expansion into other services other than what we offer now,” said Prashanth Visweswaran, founder, CEO and chairman of iMedGlobal, news briefing on Tuesday afternoon. Currently, the company has 65 employees in the Philippines.

The Philippine unit of iMedGlobal is into medical affairs and pharmacovigilance, Visweswaran said. Aside from improving their current services, the contract research firm, as part of its transformation of the Philippine office as a Center For Excellence, aims to expand into health-care technology, regulatory compliance and other areas for clinical data management, with its $3-million investment. The contract-research firm prides itself in acquiring top pharmaceutical companies, both in local and international firms, as clients although the names cannot be disclosed.

As a data management-solution provider, among the responsibilities of the firm is ensuring clients’ regulatory compliance with the latest Food and Drug Administration standards and processing data to help detect drug reactions in marketed medicine.

Visweswaran said a unique advantage of iMedGlobal is its end-to-end service provision, from the post-development stage of the drug, to the approval for clinical testing, to regulatory compliance before introduction to the market. Clients include health-care firms, pharmaceutical companies and medical devices companies.

IMedGlobal only commenced operations in the Philippines in January but has chosen the country as its hub for Asia-Pacific operations due to the investor-friendly environment, and the employees’ high level of skill in the English language. However, given the nature of its services, iMedGlobal expects an impressive skill set from employees and are selective on their recruitment process, unlike other firms in the same industry, said Vasweswaran.

IMedGlobal workers are usually advanced degree holders of life sciences, biosciences, medicine and harmaceuticals, culled from top universities.

Visweswaran sees no paucity in the supply of local talent in the Philippines.

“There is no lack in talent here. It is clearly available here but at the same time, we impart additional training and knowledge-transfer necessary from a global perspective. We hire top talent and we continue to search for top talent,” said Visweswaran. The Philippine office caters mostly to clients in the United States and the United Kingdom, taking up 95 percent of the services offered but also covers clients in Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.

IMedGlobal estimates the market size of contract research industry to be between $35 billion and $40 billion.