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New pharma services from M&A and partnerships: round-up

By Natalie Morrison , 07-Aug-2012
Last updated the 07-Aug-2012 at 13:06 GMT

Outsourcing-Pharma.com presents the low down on new services forged by partnerships and M&A (mergers and acquisitions), including a molecular biology offering for Quotient, Onyx’s added purification and separation capabilities, and Accenture’s new regulatory solutions following its takeover of Octagon.

Accenture will boost its regulatory submissions services after inking a takeover deal with Octagon Research Solutions.

Under the deal, Accenture will pick up specialist clinical and regulatory services - from clinical data collection to regulatory submissions management – as well as extending its business process outsourcing (BPO) portfolio.
 
"We believe that the timing is perfect for this acquisition as our clients are increasingly under pressure to reduce the drug development and approval timelines to get products to market more quickly, safely and cost effectively," said David Boath, North American managing director for Accenture's Life Sciences industry group. 

James Walker, Octagon’s chairman and CEO, added that the takeover will bring Octagon’s services to the global playing field as Accenture works within over 120 countries.

The acquisition is expected to reach completion within 60 days, pending conditions and regulatory approval.

Early phase provider Quotient has ramped up its molecular biology service offering with the addition of Life Technologies’ ViiA7 384-well format screening system.

The equipment – which includes integrated assay content – will support the firm’s real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening services for clinical trials participants, to identify resistance patterns and genetic tendencies.

The firm says the move is a response to a growing industry demand for pharmacogenomic stratification of subjects prior to clinical trial enrolment, however principal scientist John Blackman Northwood said the field expands further.

“We are in the fortunate position to be able to offer value added molecular biology services within a GLP facility and therefore support both preclinical and clinical development,” he said.

“Our molecular work dovetails with our gene expression work in metabolism, subject stratification in clinical and biomarker analysis in bioanalysis to create a broader range of services for our clients.”

Onyx Scientific has struck a deal with UK-based Reach Separations allowing it to offer more specialist purification and separation services from early stage clinical development through to large scale API production.

The contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) will now offer custom separation for companies in drug discovery and intermediate environments in both the UK and India.

Services now include chiral, reverse phase and normal phase chromatography using supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Denise Bowser, commercial director at Onyx Scientific, said: “Given this is an area that we have limited expertise and one that clients look to outsource, it made perfect sense for us to plug the gap and complement our existing services by working with Reach Separations.

“We expect this strategic partnership will play an important role in giving our clients quicker access to these types of services but with the added benefit of knowing it will be managed by us as part of the overall project.”

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