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Hospital to host pharmaceutical trials

December 19, 2006|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY

A North Carolina pharmaceutical research company has begun testing new drugs at Washington County Hospital.

Quintiles Transnational reached an agreement with Washington County Health System, the hospital's parent company, in October, said Adam Chasse, Quintiles' director of global access to patients.

Hospital patients may volunteer to be treated with drugs that are being tested, Dick Jones, Quintiles' senior director of corporate communications, said Tuesday.

Although the partnership was formed in October, the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission announced it Tuesday.

One of the EDC's top goals is attracting biomedical and life sciences businesses, said Cassandra H. Latimer, the EDC's deputy director.

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The EDC's news release quotes Tom Pianta, the administrative director of health management and The Center for Clinical Research at Washington County Hospital, saying patients will get advanced treatments that aren't otherwise available.

Pianta couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The release says clinical research trials might include new drugs or combinations of drugs, surgery approaches, and medical devices and procedures.

The Center for Clinical Research has studied back pain, diabetes, anemia, chemotherapy's side effects and more in the last two years, the release says.

Chasse said Quintiles' has a contract to conduct trials at the hospital. No money is involved in that agreement.

However, Quintiles will pay for the work that goes into individual trials, he said.

Quintiles has a study going on now at the hospital and expects to have two dozen to four dozen there next year, Chasse said.

Latimer said the EDC heard through a source that Quintiles was looking for a hospital partner for trials. In September 2005, the EDC set up a meeting between the company and the Health System.

Chasse said Washington County Hospital is appealing because it has a wide variety of cases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease.

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