Pike stressed Quintiles’ prowess as a partner at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco, US last Wednesday, citing deals the contract research organisation (CRO) signed with firms like Merck Serono as evidence.
“We have two sole source deals this year. I believe we are the only ones who can really do this effectively as we are the only ones with the breadth of services to do this.Other [CROs] needed to team to deliver this. We’ve even had situations where are competitors have said ‘no pick two’ because they couldn’t handle the whole scope.”
“And this is our ability to expand our addressable market,” Pike continued, adding “by doing these types of strategic deal. These are truly strategic…these are complete relationships.”
The focus on Quintiles capabilities as a Big Pharma strategic partner is not new. When the firm finally confirmed its IPO last February is emphasised the benefits its large size and global reach could provide for partners. A few days later it signed a deal with Merck Serono.
Whether Pike’s latest comments indicate that Quintiles is about to unveil another deal is unclear, however, the comments do come just days after the firm was named as a possible future third alliance partner for Pfizer, behind Icon and Parexel, in a note from Jefferies analyst David Windley.
“Discussions with Pfizer do point toward adding a third Alliance vendor. Important attributes include: nimbleness, flexibility, low cost, and Asian coverage. Q's strongest suit in this list is global coverage. Quintiles and QLabs is currently doing PFE work, but then so is inVentiv.
“PPDI's new CEO is from PFE. So, penciling this work into Q's backlog already is hasty. Because Pfizer won't do "rescue" project transitions as it did with ICLR and PRXL, this revenue - whoever wins it - will ramp slowly,” Windley said.
Personalised medicines will also be a big growth driver for Quintile according to Pike, who cited the firm’s 2011 acquisition of Advion and more recent purchase of Expression Analysis as key to tapping increasing market demand.
“We are believes in applying personalised medicine, some call it precision medicine, with our customers to the clinical process,” he said, citing Quintiles’ collaboration with US Oncology on pre-profiling and its expression analysis team’s work on oncogene panels as examples.
“[Personalised medicines] is an area that is crucial for us. With 40 to 50% of drugs in the pipeline having some kind of marker or genomic indication it is just critical that we are leaders there.”