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Current & New Partner Sites

Home  /  Current & New Partner Sites


Our Key to Success:

Own it (Ownership): A true “ownership culture” is one where our employees feel a substantial, personal stake in the company’s performance

Integrity: Integrity is the foundation of MERC on which employees build relationships, trust, and effective interpersonal relationships.

See it: Our people ‘see’ the future state including the intended outcomes of our culture change. Provide proactive recommendations to all sites and staff

Do It: Enlist, Empower and Encourage our staff. We give our employees the decision-making authority and trust them to be able to work towards our vision

What do we offer? :

  • Accelerated START-UP Timelines
  • Operational Compliance
  • Recruitment – Quick and High
  • Quality Data
  • Analytics – Real Time Learning (RTL) & quick implementation of findings (+ & -)
  • Centralised – Feasibility, Budget & Regulatory


``South Africa can and must become the number 1 trial destination in the world.``

MERC SiReN – Specialist Research Network

•Located in Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. This hospital is one of the largest hospitals in Africa and the site is part of a Pulmonology Practice within the hospital.

•This site is used by various Specialists to conduct Clinical Trials in their respective disciplines.

•Investigators: Specialties in Respiratory, Hepatology, Oncology, Dermatology, Allergies, Pediatric, Endocrinology and Cardiology.

•Most of the Investigators practice in both the private and government sector – (potential to recruit patients)

•MERC SiReN has a catchment area of 13,9 Million people within a 60 Km radius of the site

•The center has done phase II to phase IV trials in different therapeutic areas with a keen interest in Asthma, COPD, NASH and Oncology trials.

MERC Middelburg

•The flagship of the MERC Sites, established in 2000 by Dr MS Tayob and Dr AC Bassa.

•The site is part of a very large General Practice with a database of 40 000 patients with documented medical history.

•Conducted >120 trials. Therapeutic areas include trials in; COPD, Asthma, Osteo-Arthritis, Post Herpetic Neuralgia, Peripheral Neuropathy, Anxiety, ABBSSSI’s, Type 1 & 2 Diabetes, HIV, cUTI Hyperlipidaemia, Vaccines, Pneumonia, Influenza, +++

•Experience in conducting adult and paediatric trials. 6 Investigators 30 support staff.

•Relationships with the government hospitals and clinics with access to recruit patients.

•Consistently the highest recruiting site globally on many trials. Recruited 220 OA patients, equal to the total of patients recruited by 80 other sites.

•Only site to be awarded the SCRS SPRIA award twice – 2015 in 2019. This award is given to sites for their innovative methods of recruitment.

MERC Kempton park

• Part of a large Primary Healthcare Practice and based in one of the busiest transport nodes in Gauteng, with an average of 250 000 people that pass this site monthly.

• Population: 13,8 Million in a 60 Km radius

• The site is 4 km from OR Tambo Airport with easy access to the highway.

• The Site has a database of 50 000 patients with documented medical history.

• The center has done phase II to phase IV trials in – Asthma, Osteo-Arthritis, Chron’s, Diabetes, ABSSSI’s, Cardiovascular.

• 4 Investigators and 15 support staff

• The site is known for its innovative methods of recruitment and makes use of mobile technology to recruit and screen patients.

• The site participated in the SCRS Site Tank Awards 2019 – runners up for this award.

• Participates in training and capacity building programs for Graduates, OCD’s & Interns in collaboration with MeDiNova MERC SA

Merc Cape Town

•A dedicated research site in Athlone that is easily accessible to patients by being on the busiest transport route for busses and taxis.

•The site has experience in Asthma, COPD, Diabetes, Hyperlipidaemia, Osteo-Arthritis and Vaccines; with a large database of patients.

•Population: 4 million people within the recruitment catchment area

•This site has established relationships with the local government clinics and hospitals and have regular community outreach events, where they conduct health awareness days and health screenings.

•Participates in the training, transformation and capacity building programs for Graduates, OCD’s & Interns in collaboration with MeDiNova MERC SA.


  • The 3rd largest economy in Africa and an important hub of international business, technology and diplomacy with not less than 9 big pharma companies operating in the country
  • Kenya is strategically located on the east coast of Africa, along the equator line, with a population of 47 million people.
  • Population is aged (43%) 0-14, (54%) 15-64 and 2.7% (> 65).
  • Transport connections to the neighboring countries – Ethiopia, Uganda & Tanzania.
  • 48 airlines are registered and operating in Kenya with several flights across the country making movement within the country easy.
  • English is the official language in Kenya and education levels compete with the West, with large pool of English-speaking professionals, high level of computer literacy and the beacon of peace in the region – factors that are attractive to multinational investors into the country.
  • Kenya has become an important hub of international business, trade and diplomacy with not less than 9 big pharma companies operating in the country.
  • Kenya has a The UN headquarter in Africa is located in Nairobi and several UN agencies having sizable presence in Kenya like UNEP. UNICEF & WFP. ØKenya is a technology hub for Africa. The home of M-pesa.
  • Clinical Trials have been conducted in Kenya for a long time mostly sponsored by donors. The below companies either have a presence in Kenya or have done and still do clinical Trials in Kenya.
  1. GSK: Conducts phase II and III in the region. (Malaria, Helminths and asthma)
  2. Astra Zeneca (CVD, Infectious Diseases, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal & Oncology) Their first clinical trial in Kenya was completed in 1997.
  3. Pfizer
  4. Sanofi Pasteur: The vaccine group of Sanofi Aventis. Mainly vaccine clinical trials.
  5. Ely Lily (No clinical trials, just marketing and sales activities)
  6. Novartis
  7. Bayer
  8. Boehringer Ingelheim

MERC Russia

Russia is considered one of the most promising platforms to conduct clinical trials

In 2019: 746 new clinical trial approvals, 57% from foreign sponsors, 21% are pediatric studies

Top 3 therapeutic areas

1.Oncology 29 % 2.Neurology 11 % 3.Rheumatology 9 %

Top 3 locations for International Clinical Trials

1.Moscow 86 % 2.Saint Petersburg 90 % 3.Novosibirsk 27 %

Top 3 therapeutic areas for pediatric trials

1.Infections 23 % 2.Endocrinology 17 % 3.Neurology 17 %


Clinical trials require MoH and IEC written approval to start. Ministry of Health general timelines for clinical trials approvals: qInitial submission – 40 working days (central ethics approval included) Protocol amendments – 30 working days Additional sites/investigators – 15 working days

Local Ethics

Due to excellent relationships with local IEC turnaround is 1 week from submission to approval, same for amendments. IEC application could be done after MoH approval and not waiting for final contract agreements.