Accenture Looks to Compete with CROs in Accelerating Big Pharma R&D

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Accenture Looks to Compete with CROs in Accelerating Big Pharma R&D

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Accenture is using its consulting and tech expertise to corner the R&D service market with a slightly different style than CROs typically use.

After investing more than $200M in its Accelerated R&D Services business, the company is now building unique cloud-based clinical data aggregation and exchange platforms for pharmaceutical clients, as well as offering consulting and tech capabilities. 

David Boath, senior managing director for Accenture’s Life Sciences Accelerated R&D Services, told that many pharma companies “want to build out of their own technology​” and Accenture, unlike some CROs with already-built systems, is able to work with its cloud-based service to provide clients with more adaptable solutions. 

Boath noted that a lot of CROs make profits on change orders but Accenture sets itself apart by setting certain milestones and goals and meeting them to cut R&D costs and development timelines. 

We commit to certain pricing and productivity targets every year and use our tech and consulting heritage to maintain margins​,” Boath said. “I haven’t seen a lot of CROs commit to those same types of improvements. They tend to be more medically focused​,” he added, noting Accenture’s consulting and operational strengths. 

He added that the company has strategic relationships with between 10 and 15 pharma partners, including Pfizer, and is looking to compete further in regulatory, pharmacovigilance and safety capacities. 

The big CROs don’t have a heritage of tech development or consulting​,” Boath said. “We want to be able to do it in a faster, better way and get paid by the value we create.​” 

Cloud-based remote data monitoring is another area that Boath said Accenture is looking to move further into. But the field for cloud-based monitoring services seems to be getting more competitive, especially as a number of CROs at the DIA meeting​ last month in Boston unveiled their cloud-based tools.

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