Icon Group acquires operator of South Australian private cancer clinical trials program

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Australia’s largest private cancer research provider Icon Group has completed the acquisition of Ashford Cancer Centre Research.

The Adelaide-based Ashford provides a private cancer clinical trials program. It is designed to improve patient access to clinical trials.

Icon Group and Ashford Cancer Centre Research have together been involved in over 585 clinical trials and supported 2,900 cancer patients from South Australia and across the country.

Icon said the acquisition supports its plan to expand its current delivery of 150 cancer clinical trials to more than 250.

Dr John Bashford, director of research at Icon Group, said the acquisition will further bolster the company's ability to offer access to new and emerging advances in cancer treatment.

“Individually, ACCR and Icon represent the two largest private providers of research in Australia. By coming together we are increasing our existing research capacity by 50%, ensuring we have greater capability to investigate the most innovative treatments in the world and bring these clinical trials into South Australia, while supporting our reach into Western Australia and Victoria,” said Dr Bashford.

“Our greatest opportunity lies in our complementary strengths. While Icon Group delivers Queensland’s largest Phase I oncology trial program, with 75% of trials focused on the growing area of immunotherapy, 48% of the clinical trials open to recruitment at Ashford Cancer Centre Research are Phase II and III trials. We look forward to continuing to deliver a wide breadth of innovative clinical trials across Phase I while further expanding our Phase II and III clinical trials to improve cancer care in Australia and beyond.”

Ashford Cancer Centre Research co-founder and clinical research director Associate Professor Dusan Kotasek said, “We are delighted to have partnered with Icon Group to support their expansion within South Australia. This partnership will strengthen our capability to deliver exceptional care and sustain the future growth of haematology, oncology and radiation therapy research in Australia. We look forward to joining Icon on their mission to support as many patients as possible to navigate their individual cancer journeys through access to the latest in clinical research,” A/Prof Kotasek said.

“For the many Australians who are diagnosed with cancer each year, research plays an important role when traditional treatment methods aren’t effective or suitable. We are proud to now provide a greater level of support in the development of new and novel therapies for people with cancer in Australia and across the world as part of Icon Group.”

Icon Group executive manager of research Dr Sophie Mepham added, “At Icon we are proud to have a dedicated pharmacy as part of our research arm, which is the cornerstone of our Phase I clinical trial program. The edge that this gives us to support incredibly high-quality clinical trials, alongside our compounding capabilities and recently launched internal GCP training program, is second to none,”