The Emergence of Israel & Türkiye as Popular Destinations for Clinical Trials

With clinical trial participant groups reaching saturation levels worldwide, it has become crucial to venture into different countries to facilitate the development of new medical treatments, enhance research diversity, and promote international collaborations.

When selecting a clinical trial site, numerous considerations come into play. The suitability of a location is influenced by various factors, such as favourable regulatory approval timelines, the size and diversity of the local population, the track record of patient retention in past trials, the presence of established research infrastructure, and the overall state of the country’s healthcare system.

This whitepaper delves into the reasons behind the growing appeal of both countries as destinations for testing new medicinal products.

Israel’s Clinical Trial Landscape

Israel has become an increasingly attractive hub for conducting clinical trials, drawing substantial international sponsorship. According to GlobalData, from December 8, 2012, to March 8, 2023, a remarkable 75% of clinical trials carried out in Israel were multinational in nature. This popularity among global investors can be attributed to various factors, including a diverse population and a strong national healthcare system that offers comprehensive long-term health monitoring and medical records.

The ease of recruiting and retaining patients, is one of the major benefits that Israel can bring to clinical trials. “The recruitment and retention of patients are very important because you know you can get a trial to be initiated and stay on track and remain within the timeframes of the recruitment period, which makes for successful clinical trial outcomes” says Zayheda Khan, chief commercial officer at Oximio.

Moreover, due to the diverse origins of Israel’s population from multiple global countries, it presents a distinctive advantage for recruiting such a diverse population of patients for clinical trials and sometimes is unmatched in other international locations.

“In a small environment, with a population of just over nine and a half million, we have a community that has genes from all over the world,” explains Dror Sukenik, managing director for Israel at Oximio. “The Israeli population is nationally health insured, we don’t see people moving to another country, like in Europe, so our patient database is tracked and monitored easily.”

The Israel Ministry of Health (IMOH) is responsible for supervising and authorizing clinical trials within the country. To ensure timely review and approval, it has established streamlined procedures. The government actively promotes and supports clinical trials through a range of initiatives and incentives, such as financial assistance and grants. One notable collaboration is with the Israeli Innovation Authority, which works closely with pharmaceutical and biotech firms to provide financial support and necessary resources for conducting clinical trials within the country.

Türkiye’s Clinical Trials Growth

Multinational companies looking to invest in joint ventures and other mutually beneficial collaborations find the Turkish healthcare market highly appealing. This attractiveness stems from various factors including robust government support, incentives for manufacturing and research and development, a rising per capita income, and a growing middle-class population.

In 2020, GlobalData’s market analysis of Türkiye’s healthcare market, valued it at $7.5bn. This is expected to continue to rise for the period 2021-27.

Türkiye’s geographical position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East provides valuable opportunities for multinational trials to recruit patients. Furthermore, with a notably youthful and working-age population, it positions the country favourably for clinical studies. This advantage becomes increasingly significant as populations worldwide age, thereby benefiting both the industry and the business landscape.

The Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TMMDA) oversee the management of clinical trials within the country. The governing body has successfully adopted globally recognized guidelines and aligned its procedures with European Union directives, guaranteeing adherence to the highest standards of good clinical practice (GCP). Through its efforts, the TMMDA has introduced measures to simplify the approval process, resulting in reduced timelines and improved communication channels between researchers and regulators. These optimized procedures significantly enhance the speed and efficiency of setting up and running clinical trials in Türkiye.

In addition to this, the Turkish Government, in an effort to incentivise local and overseas sponsors, offers financial support, grants and tax incentives. These actions are pivotal in enabling collaborations across academia, industry, and healthcare institutions.

“We have a favourable investment environment, robust growth in the sector, and opportunities in sub-sectors as well. Türkiye has a strong international presence,” explains Gunes Yildirim, managing director for Türkiye at Oximio. “We have favourable demographics, with a dynamic, young, and secure talent pool supporting the industry. And we also have a rising life expectancy and increasing spending on healthcare.”

Robust collaborations in the realm of clinical trials are pursued eagerly by both Israel and Türkiye. These partnerships not only enhance our understanding of science but also stimulate economic development and cultivate strong bonds between local and international entities. A growing number of pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations (CROs), and academic institutions are acknowledging the immense potential of Israel and Türkiye as highly favourable locations for their research.

Download Oximio’s whitepaper on the clinical trials landscape in Israel and Türkiye.

With over 19 years’ experience and expertise, Oximio provides a comprehensive range of end-to-end clinical trial logistics services. Offering state-of-the-art facilities in Türkiye and Israel, it can provide temperature control solutions, supported with project managers to manage the full spectrum of legal requirements and quality assurances from start to finish.

If you are looking to set-up clinical trials in Türkiye or Israel, please contact us to find out how we can support you.