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Synteract Expands Executive Roles to Aid International Growth

New hire and promotions follow opening of Prague office

SAN DIEGO – Oct. 26, 2009 – Synteract, Inc., a full-service contract research organization (CRO) dedicated to meeting the clinical research, technology, and safety needs of biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies, has hired a new vice president of global project management, Rod M. Saponjic, Ph.D., MBA, and promoted others in the organization to senior executive roles to better support growth in the company and development of international offices. Stewart Bieler has been promoted to chief operating officer, Ali Sadighian has become vice president of business development, and Kristi Clark has become managing director of the new Synteract office in Prague, which officially opened in August. 

As vice president of global project management, Dr. Saponjic will be responsible for harmonizing project management methodologies, training and operations across the organization. He will also provide guidance and support for project teams focused on achieving deliverables for clients. Saponjic comes to Synteract after five years with PRA International, where he held a similar role. Prior to PRA, he held senior management positions with, Clingenix, and Quintiles.

Stewart Bieler, who has more than 20 years of experience in the clinical research industry, has proven his strengths at Synteract since 1999. Increasingly promoted to greater levels of responsibility, Bieler started Synteract’s clinical operations and project management business offerings as director of clinical operations and project management and most recently served as senior vice president of clinical operations and project management. In his new role as COO, Bieler will oversee all aspects of company billable operations. His broad-based strengths in clinical program management, budget and resource planning, protocol development and implementation will provide strong operational guidance for departments across the organization. Prior to Synteract, he developed a regulatory submissions group within the regulatory affairs department at Dura Pharmaceuticals. Previous to that he worked in clinical development at Dura and Gensia Pharmaceuticals. 

Ali Sadighian, who has more than 18 years of experience in research and development and CRO industries, has led the business development department at Synteract since he joined in 2006. He was previously director of clinical operations for, where he supervised the San Diego operations of the firm. Previous to that, he worked in clinical operations at both Quintiles and PRA International. Sadighian has made a significant contribution to the company’s growth over the past three years and will be responsible for global business development. 

The European office in the Czech Republic is headed by Kristi Clark, MBA, previously senior director of project management and global business operations at the headquarters office. From this central European location, Synteract offers full clinical trial services in Europe, providing access to large patient populations in several therapeutic areas. Clark joined Synteract in 2006 after managing large global trials at Quintiles for eight years. Clark, who has 19 years of industry experience has taken on the role of managing director to build the office, hire employees, monitor project management and establish affiliate relationships. 

According to CEO and co-founder Ellen Morgan, Synteract is broadening its executive roles to meet client requests to expand internationally. “We have established a great reputation in the industry over the last 14 years. Now our goal is to provide our clients with the same flexibility, guidance and responsive service for their multinational trials that they have become accustomed to when working with us domestically,” says Morgan. “With these experienced and dedicated professionals at the helm, we know we will be able to maintain the service levels and professionalism our clients expect and deserve.” 

The company is looking at possible acquisitions in Europe and India in 2010 and beyond, and expects to hire another 200 employees globally by 2012. 

About Synteract 
Established in 1995, Synteract is a privately held, full-service contract research organization, dedicated to meeting the clinical needs of biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies. The company’s mission is to provide high quality yet personal service, working closely with drug and device sponsors as though a department within their company. Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, with offices in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and Prague, Czech Republic, Synteract has clinical trial expertise in a wide range of therapeutic areas, including a strong emphasis in oncology, central nervous system (CNS), cardiovascular disease, and ophthalmology. Information, or (760) 268.8200. 

Jennifer Williams 


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