CTC Laboratory Systems is a subsidiary of one of the largest system integrators in Japan, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation and provides IT solutions for the discovery and clinical phases of the pharma lifecycle, including applications that support gene information analysis, good laboratory practice (GLP), good clinical practice (GCP), e-applications and post-marketing surveillance. The firm works with more than 20 of the Top 30 Japanese pharmaceutical companies. Meanwhile, US-based Cognizant has more than 35 delivery centers and over 55,000 employees across the globe and its dedicated Healthcare and Life Sciences practice employs 10,000 professionals including doctors, pharmacologists, physicians, biomedical engineers, pharmacists, biostatisticians and medical writers, allowing the firm to provide "domain-aligned consulting, IT, business process and analytics solutions" to this industry globally. Commenting on the new alliance, Hideki Negishi, president and CEO of CTC Laboratory Systems said: "Our partnership with Cognizant will help us jointly address the pharmaceutical industry in Japan by leveraging the local insights of CTC Laboratory Systems and the global talent pool, domain depth and delivery best practices of Cognizant". "The combined expertise of the two companies in delivering value to the top pharmaceutical companies globally and in Japan will help us address the pressure points of Japanese pharmaceutical companies in areas of discovery, clinical, manufacturing and commercial operations". R Chandrasekaran, president and managing director of Cognizant added: "Our combined value proposition will help Japanese pharmaceutical companies to crunch the cycle time for discovery and clinical development, reduce overall cost of drug discovery, and innovatively transform the way they deliver healthcare". Cognizant has demonstrated a particular affinity for the life sciences market of late - in October it dished out $135m on its first acquisition and this was to buy a fellow US firm with a specialty in the life sciences field. Chandrasekaran said that it is hoped that the new partnership with CTC Laboratory Systems will help it scale up its Japanese operations, "with a special emphasis on our pharmaceutical practice". Japan's pharmaceutical market ranks number two in the world beind the US, although the industry is only really just starting to open itself up to the possibilities of outsourcing and forming partnerships with firms outside its borders in order to imporove efficiencies and potentially save cash - a practice that pharmaceutical companies in the west have been eagerly undertaking for many years. This is creating many new and potentially lucrative opportunities in the country for a whole range of pharmaceutical service providers across the globe. Meanwhile, the latest deal with CTC Laboratory Systems is further evidence that Cognizant is gaining ground in the life sciences arena. Only last month the firm inked a $95m data management deal with AstraZeneca, just three months after sealing another multi-million dollar deal with Merck & Co. AstraZeneca enlisted Cognizant to assist the firm with its drive for greater efficiencies in clinical data management.Over the five year duration of the deal, Cognizant will provide a range of data management services for AstraZeneca's global clinical development programs from a centralised location.