SGS is expanding its Clinical Pharmacology Unit in Antwerp, Belgium with a Viral Challenge Testing facility that will include a 12-bed, biosafety level 2-Q compliant, quarantine facility, allowing the company to conduct highly specialized clinical trials.
The quarantine facility incorporates a negative pressure system, which includes individual compartments for infected volunteers, and a dedicated lab equipped with a flow cabinet, acid cabinet, workspace and workflows to handle specific (viral) cultures using HEPA-filtering and an airlock system. The facility also enables detailed assessment of immune parameters that help identify immunological correlations of infection and illness.
“This unique, European viral challenge testing facility enhances SGS’s service offering for our clients in the fields of infectious disease and vaccine development, allowing clients a chance to improve screening and development of their compounds” said Dr. Steven Ramael, SGS Life Science Services medical director. “Although the model does not necessarily reflect all parameters relevant to community-acquired infection, it does provide for a carefully controlled, systematic, and efficient method in which a number of variables can be controlled or even eliminated, with the subjects continuously monitored in a sequestered environment that minimizes safety risks.”