UBC looking to ‘buy or build’ to serve strategic partnerships

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

UBC expects strategic outsourcing of outcomes and personalised medicine research to accelerate as biopharm cut fixed costs.

In the past six months UBC and its parent company Medco have inked deals to offer Sanofi and Pfizer services to improve health outcomes. UBC signed the deals after making a concerted effort to have more strategic outsourcing relationships.

We observed that many companies are outsourcing individual elements to different ​vendors”, Rob Epstein, the new president of UBC, told Outsourcing-Pharma. Epstein said UBC-Medco can offer a broader range of services than many of its peers and it is using these assets to win strategic deals.

Sanofi and Pfizer are the headline deals to date but UBC hopes to add more strategic clients. When UBC began developing its strategic deal plan it expected big pharma to be most interested, Epstein said, but it has “been approached by some smaller companies too​”.

Small to mid-sized biopharm lack a large portfolio of products but there are still factors motivating them to take a strategic approach to outsourcing. “This work ebbs and flows so in-house fixed costs would be too high [for biotechs]​”, Epstein said. Also, managing multiple partners is time consuming.

Buy or build

To win and keep strategic relationships UBC must offer a comprehensive range of services and evolve to meet clients changing needs. Medco bought UBC, a takeover Epstein said was “fantastic​”, to add services and strengthen outside the US, and further acquisitions are in the pipeline.

We’re always looking at buy or build​”, Epstein said. UBC has fuelled its growth with acquisitions and, with the company always looking at takeover targets, this strategy will continue. Epstein said a rate of more than one deal a year is expected but was unwilling to divulge his target areas.

Now, that would be telling you my playbook​”, Epstein said.

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