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CLINICAL TRIALS 2005, February 28
 
Larime is aiming for 40 beds in Poitiers
 

 
Having moved into its new premises in Poitiers, the La Rochelle-based company fully intends to develop its “clinical trials” activity in the Vienne department. Serge Fitoussi has announced expansion from 24 to 40 beds, all of which should be in place by the end of the year.

Implanted in La Rochelle since 1990, in 2004 Larime (*) commenced operations in the Poitiers area. Its choice was dictated by “a steadily growing field of activity” and the opportunity to rent a unit corresponding to the large-scale ambitions of this small but dynamic coast-based business. “I was seeking out a clinic, and this one was empty. An old unit, it had exercises the same profession as ours. We immediately seized upon the offer. And since Poitiers is easy for our customers to reach, their proximity helped prompt our decision”, assures Serge Fitoussi, a one-time executive at the Novartis mammoth.

Associated with his brother, in 2003 the interested party bought up Larime with every intention of making it prosper in terms of staff… and sales. It is easy to note that through little more than a year and a half, the directors have wasted no time. “On October 1st, 2003, there were 27 of us at Lagord; as of today, we are 43 strong on the two sites”, so he indicates. The increased number of employees has gone hand in hand with a greater capacity for hosting. On a short-term basis (by December 2005), the number of beds in the Poitiers of the unit of the CRO are likely to have grown from 24 to 40. “All in all, in one way or another we shall have 60 beds in France, and then stand as the 3rd largest CRO in the country.”

Collaborations

As a businessman in a hurry, since June 2004 Serge Fitoussi has not exactly been idling away. For instance, Larime has had no trouble reconstituting a file of healthy volunteers, and it is also developing multiple partnerships with local establishments. Some concrete examples? “Collaboration with Mr. Paquereau, numero uno of the Poitiers CHU’s encephelography ward – it contains a sleep laboratory - and also president of the French electro-encephalography society, not to mention our work with the dermatology ward.” These are needed so as to fully carry out the phase I and phase 2A studies with which laboratories entrust the small business. “We seldom perform phase 2B, in fact only when the dossiers compiled by the promoters are insufficiently documented in pharmacokinetics, indicates Serge Fitoussi.

Thanks to its new Poitiers-based unit, Larine is also capitalizing upon its “proximity” with regard to La Rochelle. “It allows us to pick up group synergy”, points out Serge Fitoussi. Speaking for myself, when I worked in Paris it took me an hour and a half to go find my way to Novatis…” To sum matters up, a human-sized company plays upon its manifest “regionalist” advantages … without thereby sealing itself off from Europe. If today’s customer rosters are 70% French and 30% foreign, the director looks forward to 2006 with the hope of inverting these figures, and having its sales skyrocket from 3.2 to 4.5 million euros.

(*) Aside from clinical research, Larime is a specialist in bioanalysis and data management.

http://www.larime.com
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