Quintiles Signs Exclusive Development Deal with Merck Days After $1B IPO

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Quintiles Signs Drug Development Deal with Merck Days After $1B IPO

Related tags: Merck serono, Clinical trial

Just days after raising more than $1B in its IPO, Quintiles announced Wednesday it signed a five-year clinical development agreement with Merck Serono. 

The agreement will allow Quintiles to be the sole primary provider of Merck Serono’s outsourced clinical development services from Phase 1 to post-marketing approvals.

Merck Serono intends to retain Quintiles for its new outsourced global clinical trial requirements, but will, of course, honor any contractual commitments with other CROs​,” Heather Connor, spokeswoman for Merck, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com

Quintiles says it believes this is a “first-of-its-kind agreement​” because both companies will work together as “a single, unified drug development team​,” Phil Bridges, a spokesman for Quintiles, told us.

The companies will focus on new therapeutic options across Merck Serono’s research therapeutic areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology, according to Quintiles.

Tom Pike, CEO of Quintiles, said: “We are excited about the opportunities this collaboration provides as we work with Merck Serono in a new and innovative manner that leverages the best of our combined capabilities​.”

This is the second development deal announced in about a month as Quintiles in April announced Bristol-Myers Squibb signed the company​ as a third preferred labs provider.

IPO and Layoffs

The IPO, meanwhile, proved successful as the company raised $1.09B by pricing about 27.2m shares at $40 each, compared with its plan to raise $790m through the sale of 19.7 million shares at $36 to $40 each, according to company statements in an 8-K filed Tuesday​.

The figures from the 8-K were slightly higher than previously announced figures as selling shareholders sold more than 14m shares, while the company said previously it expected selling shareholders to sell about 10.6m shares​.

After deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, Quintiles made about $496.1m, or $6m more than expected, as it previously said it expected net proceeds of about $489.8m​. Since the IPO, shares have risen more than 12% to just over $45 per share. The IPO made Quintiles’ founder Dennis Gillings a billionaire.

Despite the success, the company also said that restructuring expected this year will result in layoffs of about 400 employees in order to save between $15m and $20m.

Bridges said that “it is important to note that the total number of jobs impacted is a global number, not specific to any country or region​,” and that Quintiles’ workforce has grown to more than 27,000 employees in the last five years.

In addition, the company currently has more than 900 open positions worldwide for which it is actively recruiting, Bridges added.

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