News & Information | START In The News

November 14th, 2011
By: Kelly Morris

START Madrid Receives Spain’s first Accreditation of Excellence Awarded to a Phase I Unit

Madrid, Spain (November 14, 2011) –– START Madrid, which is part of the global START LLC. based in San Antonio, Texas, announced today that it has received Spain’s Certificate of Good Clinical Practice Standards from the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid. START Madrid is the first and only phase I unit in Spain to receive an accreditation of this kind. START Madrid is located in the Comprehensive Cancer Center Clara Campal (CIOCC). (NOTE: The Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid represents one of 17 autonomous communities responsible for the administration of schools, universities, health, social services, culture, urban and rural development and, in some cases, policing.)

The inspection by the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid last May, as stated, was to "to verify compliance with the technical requirements for health units in which early stage clinical trials are conducted and the principles of good clinical practice in force in the European Union and the Spanish State."

Dr. Emiliano Calvo, clinical director for START Madrid, said, “This accreditation represents a major milestone for START Madrid,” and called the achievement “especially significant since the Unit has been operating for only three years.”

With centers located in San Antonio, Texas, Madrid, Spain and Shanghai, China, START conducts the world’s largest Phase I medical oncology program.

Dr. Anthony Tolcher, president of START LLC and clinical director for START San Antonio, said, “This accreditation is continued validation of the exceptional standards of quality and excellence as well as principles of good practice that underpin START's global operations.” He said, “It also is further evidence that START’s Phase I units rank among the world's premier sites for developing innovative oncology drugs.”

Since START Madrid opened its doors in 2008, the unit has steadily increased the number of patients and the number of pharmaceutical companies with which it works each year. In 2008, the unit’s first year, researchers treated four patients. In 2009, that number grew to 61 and presently exceeds 200. START Madrid currently has 19 active trials and is presently working with 17 different pharmaceutical companies.

South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START) directs clinical trials of novel anticancer agents using a high quality and innovative information technology infrastructure to ensure accurate and rapid clinical trials in a setting that emphasizes personalized and compassionate clinical care. START’s headquarters are located in the heart of the San Antonio Medical Center. With centers located in San Antonio, Texas, Madrid, Spain and Shanghai, China, START conducts the world’s largest Phase I medical oncology program – putting more than 500 patients per year on Phase I trials. Patients travel from all over the world to participate in one or more of our Phase I drug trials. START consists of a team of highly trained physicians and staff with extensive experience in Phase I clinical trials research and are nationally recognized as thought leaders in cancer research and drug development.