Comprehensive custom services

PerkinElmer, Cerep team up to market assay development, screening services

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WALTHAM, Mass.—Continuing its push to becoming an end-to-end providerof products and services for the research market, PerkinElmer Inc. andFrench CRO Cerep SA announced last month a co-marketing deal that willallow each company to provide a continuum of customized services fromassay development to target screening and profiling.

"This agreement with Cerep is a natural extension of the assaydevelopment service that we launched last fall," says Richard Eglen,president of Bio-discovery at Perkin Elmer. "That was driven by theinterest from our customers to be a complete solution provider. It issomething that has gone quite well for us and this arrangement withCerep is the next step."

That step is one that provides PerkinElmer with a strong CRO partnerwhose services it can market alongside its custom assay developmentoffering. Likewise, Cerep—which has locations in France, the UnitedStates and Japan—can offer its customers not only leading screening andprofiling, but can also offer PerkinElmer's assay development expertiseto create a customized offering for each customer.

"Cerep is committed to providing the highest quality services in drugdiscovery and drug development," says Thierry Jean, chairman and CEO ofCerep in a statement announcing the deal. "This agreement withPerkinElmer enables us to support our customers' complete drugdiscovery needs, from assay design to target screening and profiling,by adding a range of enabling assay technologies to our drug screeningand profiling services."

At the heart of the deal is the fast growing interest and markets forresearchers whose work focuses on G protein-coupled receptors andkinases. PerkinElmer's intent is to widen the potential customers for anumber of its assay development and detection platforms includingAlphaLISA, LANCE and LANCE Ultra which are targeted at these researchareas.

While Eglen points out that customers were asking PerkinElmer toprovide an end-to-end solution, company officials didn't want to strayfrom its current position in the market. "Customers were asking ifPerkinElmer could do the screening for them, but it is not a businessthat we were interested in getting into," Eglen says. "With Cerep, weadd that capability and work with a company [with whom] many of ourcustomers are familiar and comfortable."

In so doing, of course, PerkinElmer is not only getting business andexposure for is custom assay business, but also for the breadth of itssupporting kits and reagents, as well as the opportunity to step up itslevel of customer support by providing the "triage" of the proposedscreening.

"For example, if CEREP has a customer and want to do a conversion foran ELISA they can offer our assay development services around ourAlphaLISA," Eglen says.

Marketing plans for the combined services were still in the works atpress time, though plans are already in place for representatives ofboth companies to make joint presentations at a number of key accounts.Sales staffs at both companies are currently receiving training tobring them up to speed on the capabilities and products of eachpartner, though it is likely that, considering size and reach of itssales operation around the world, PerkinElmer could take the lead earlyon.

And while both companies can count many of the same customers, theco-marketing deal allows both to reach into areas of these companieswhere, perhaps, they were not as well-known.

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