Science Driven CRO

Science Driven CRO

Regional Article - MENA

MENA has the investigational sites necessary to conduct your trial

In our introductory article to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, we saw that it has become a valid region to be considered for performing clinical trials. This is, in no small part, due to the quantity of high-quality sites, and qualified investigators and clinical trial staff available, capable and motivated to conduct high-quality research.

Sponsors looking into the feasibility of performing their trials in MENA will discover a sufficient number of properly equipped sites throughout the region, including many which have also earned Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation.

According to, almost 8000 clinical trials have been performed in Israel so far, which represents 2% of all registered trials worldwide in the NIH clinical trials register. This is possible by the advanced infrastructure where all public medical institutions actively participate in clinical research, resulting in the research staff at Israeli medical institutions being highly experienced.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman are countries with large sites equipped with the latest up to date technology and equipment. High-quality medical services are provided by the major university hospitals such as the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. This research hospital has many departments and centers that include the:

  • Center for Autism Research,
  • Gulf Center for Cancer Control and Prevention,
  • Human Cancer Genomic Research,
  • National Biotechnology Center, and
  • Cardiovascular Research Program.

Another major clinical research center in the country is the King Saud University Medical City (KSUMC). This center has decades of experience and more than 1,300 fulltime physicians, over 850 residents and fellows, and approximately 2,700 additional health personnel who collectively provide care to more than 1.2 million outpatients, admit around 46,000 patients and perform more than 14,000 procedures every year.

Examples of research sites in the United Arab Emirates include the:

  • Al Amal Hospital in Dubai,
  • Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi,
  • Kuwaiti Hospital Sharjah, in Sharjah, and
  • Al Dhafra Family Medicine Center in Abu Dhabi.

Many physicians in North Africa are known to bring their education and expertise gained by studying and working in European countries. North Africa boasts large facilities capable of performing clinical trials including the main cities of Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. Examples of high-quality potential sites in Egypt include the:

  • Cairo University Faculty of Medicine, which includes nine hospitals under its umbrella,
  • El Watany Eye Hospital,
  • National Research Center, and the
  • Giza Memorial Institute of Ophthalmic Research.

Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan have smaller facilities than the countries mentioned above. However, this has not prevented them from being recognized as providing reputable healthcare services. These sites are also equipped with advanced technology that allows the physicians to participate in clinical research according to GCP standards.

There has been a profound investment in healthcare and the ability to perform quality clinical research in MENA. Egypt launched the Decade for Science and Technology between 2007 to 2016 to strengthen the nation’s research and innovation capabilities and Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have invested billions of dollars in the last two decades to establish new medical schools and universities, new technology parks, and in recruiting top researchers from around the world to relocate to the region.

The presence of many highly acclaimed sites, which employ both well-qualified physicians from the local area and also those from the USA and Europe are two of the biggest reasons why MENA is increasingly attractive for clinical trials.

About Europital

Europital is an international CRO providing a full range of clinical research services. Since 2010, the Europital team has been working hand-in-hand with our clients on projects that span from First in Human studies to pivotal, international studies conducted across multiple continents.

In addition to its regional offices in Europe, Europital has built a global network of trusted partners over the last 10 years in the Middle East and North Africa, USA, Canada, Russia, India and Australia.

Europital’s readiness, reliability and flexibility all mean we are committed to the success of clinical projects worldwide.

Regardless of where your study sites may be, contact Dave to learn more about how we can help with all your clinical research needs.

David Bruce MBA PhD

David Bruce MBA PhD 
Business Development Manager

T: +44 (0) 1743 367696
M: +44 (0) 7850 123151
E: [email protected]