Under the new model, in addition to providing researchers to work with the Intarcia team developing the "Duros" subcutaneous exenatide tech, Quintiles is providing financing for the project which, it claims, makes it a genuine partner rather than just a service provider.
Chip Gillooly, VP in corporate development at Quintiles’ capital solutions group told Outsourcing-pharma.com that, from the outset, the goal of the partnership was to accelerate development and reduce costs.
“What Intarcia wanted from the beginning was the extended message we’ve been trying to deliver for years; if you build the process ahead of time you can be more efficient and focussed on value of the asset to shareholders, as well as the patient population.”
“They sought a change from traditional business models which have a lot of built in inefficiency, and are often cumbersome with supervisory action at every level.”
When the deal was in its infancy, researchers from Quintiles and Intarcia were brought together to see if their ideas and methods would fit, before integrating the teams so that each participant was involved in every stage.
Gillooly added: “Many traditional, and I would go as far as to say old fashioned, outsourcing relationships mean that outsourcing companies can be pigeon holed so the delivering company doesn’t gain any strategies about what should be done.
“The problem [with this older model for CROs] is that often they just put a bit of money in and watch the assets fail in Phase 2 or 3.”
He said that, in contrast, when Quintiles provides financing its approach is to become a fully integrated part of the project.
Kurt Graves, executive chairman of Intarcia Therapeutics, was equally positive about the merits of the new partnering model.
“We believe this innovative collaboration strengthens our organization and will speed start up, with the goal of accelerated time-to-market for our game-changing injection-free GLP-1 therapy.”
Cracking the whip
Another aspect of the alliance’s new model is that it has oversight and operational committees made up of senior execs from both companies. The teams will also include staff from the third partner company, currently being sought by Intarcia and Quintiles.
“This is another unique feature of the partnership,” added Gillooly. “Their one remit is to make sure we stay on the time lines we committed to whilst ensuring licensing and commercial success. They ensure we never lose sight of the goal here.”
Of the name of third company to join the alliance, both Intarcia and Quintiles are keeping schtum.
Gillooly told us that though Quintiles is helping to select the candidates it is, as yet, unaware of the frontrunner.
“We know from discussions and work with Intarcia that there are a number of the top pharma companies from around the world who are interested,” he said.
“They’re still finalising the deal, but we suspect who ever the name will be will be one that is known to the entire industry.”