Tata bags major BPO deal with Roche

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Business process outsourcing, Pharmaceutical industry

Indian IT firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has bagged its
second high profile pharma outsourcing deal this year with a new
multi-year contract with Swiss drug maker Roche.

Under the new deal, India's largest software firm TCS will provide business process outsourcing (BPO) services to a number of areas in Roche's drug development organisation, including clinical data management, clinical programming, biostatistics and drug safety support, as part of drug giant's global capacity building initiative (GCBI). Commenting on the deal, Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of Pharma Development at Roche, said: "The partnership with TCS will allow us to address the growing operational needs of our development organisation and to handle the increasing workload". ​ Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed but the figure being thrown around in the Indian media is in the range of $30-50m (€22-37m). "It is a multi-year deal which means it could span over three to five years,"​ a TCS spokesperson told Outsourcing-Pharma.com, although she could not comment of the monetary value of the contract. She said the company has started to hire new staff and is expected to have 500 new employees in addition to the existing 3,200 it currently employs in its Bombay-based life sciences and healthcare division. "We have been increasingly focusing on the pharmaceutical industry for the past 18 months and now five per cent of our $4bn revenue comes from this market,"​ the company spokesperson said. She said TCS was planning to focus even more on this lucrative market although she could not reveal if the firm had any other contracts in the pipeline. "TCS continues to develop a knowledge based business, leveraging information technology and the highly talented pool of resources in the life sciences space to fulfill unique resource requirements of companies like Roche,"​ said V. K. Raman, head of BPO services at TCS. Analysts estimate that outsourcing or off-shoring parts of clinical trial management can reap in savings of up to 40 per cent of the current cost of capturing data from clinical trials and Roche is the latest in a number of high-profile pharma firms to do so. TCS has been a large beneficiary so far. Last November, Eli Lilly awarded the growing firm a major multiyear BPO contract, while Danish pharma company Novo Nordisk signed a similar deal with TCS a few months earlier. But the deal with Roche is the second major deal with a European big pharma this year. In March TCS signed another multi-year contract with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to set up a global drug development support centre in Mumbai, in a deal estimated at £10m (€15m).

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