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Thinking and doing
January 2011
by David Hutton  |  Email the author


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—In an effort to offer pharmacogenetic solutions and advance personalized medicine, Quintiles has signed a strategic alliance with London Genetics.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Under the non-exclusive alliance, Quintiles and London Genetics will collaborate to help biopharma companies take advantage of pharmacogenetic solutions, including novel biomarker and assay development services. By providing biopharma companies strategic advice on the application of pharmacogenetics and innovative pharmacogenetics solutions, Quintiles and London Genetics believe they can help customers access additional resources and speed the delivery of targeted treatments.
Quintiles develops proprietary and novel biomarker tests analyzing genes and proteins that affect cell growth and mutation, and performs these assays at labs in the United States, Scotland and China.
London Genetics works with London-based centers of excellence in genetics research to provide pharmacogenetic solutions to the biopharmaceutical industry, aiming to help companies partner with relevant academics and clinicians to apply genetic knowledge to de-risk clinical trials, design and manage projects and access patient cohorts.
The companies have not worked together before, and while they are not disclosing specific terms of their pact, Thomas Wollman, senior vice president of Quintiles Global Central Laboratories, says the partnership will help biopharma companies execute a well designed strategy regarding pharmacogenetics, whether at the product, portfolio, pipeline or enterprise level.
"London Genetics is building a business relationship network that has some of the world's top experts in PGx strategy and implementation, and Quintiles has a globally networked infrastructure and expertise in biomarker and assay development services to deliver on those efforts," Wollman says. "We have world-class expertise to help early adopters of personalized medicine use genomic technologies to improve drug discovery and development, and a networked infrastructure to support those efforts virtually anywhere in the world. Through this alliance, we can offer biopharma companies a world-class blend of thinking and doing when it comes to implementing innovative pharmacogenetics solutions."
Dominique Kleyn, CEO of London Genetics, notes that the London-based company's expertise in pharmacogenetic strategy development, combined with Quintiles' expertise and infrastructure in biomarker development, gives biopharma companies a powerful ally in harnessing the value of genomic data for drug development. 
"Ultimately, our alliance will support biopharma in their interactions with academic partners and in the development of personalized medicines," she says. "Together, our approach combines world-class expertise and global infrastructure to support the development of personalized medicines."
According to Klyen, the alliance offers mutual clients the best of both worlds. Quintiles supports a joint approach that provides strategic advice on the application of pharmacogenetics and the ability to access additional resources to deliver meaningful results within the tight timeframes of clinical development programs. The alliance is non-exclusive and can be extended by agreement.
"The focus of the alliance with Quintiles for London Genetics is to develop new business for the company in line with the mission of using its knowledge, experience and extensive networks to increase success in clinical development for new drugs and diagnostics," Klyen says. "As a result of this alliance, we expect customers will become more aware of the opportunity to increase efficiency in clinical development and benefit from increased availability of the tools available within academic and commercial partners to achieve this."
London Genetics will also participate in briefing meetings and client visits, and will develop proposals for client projects. Quintiles and London Genetics have also established an operational steering committee to evaluate client targeting opportunities.
"When clients undertake collaborative implementation projects, London Genetics will coordinate access to the clinical and genetic expertise and resource of its partner institutions," Klyen notes. "This expertise and resource spans all therapeutic areas and includes a wide range of technologies.
"This is evidenced by the increasingly frequent collection of DNA samples in clinical trials, the reorganization of larger companies around translational or stratified medicine teams and the appointment by mid-size firms of clinical development directors with pharmacogenetic or stratified medicine experience," she adds. "We are aware of this clear and growing need from the increased interest shown by biopharma in developing more personalized treatments and a growing realization that patients with the same diseases respond differently to drugs based on their genetic makeup."
The deal is latest by Quintiles, which in November inked two other deals: one with Biomoda to help the cancer diagnostics company refine its image recognition system for detecting early-stage lung cancer; and another with Dako for integrated drug- diagnostic development services and companion diagnostic products, Dako's area of expertise.
Code: E011120



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