Thinking and doing

Quintiles, London Genetics ink pharmacogenetic deal

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—In an effort to offerpharmacogenetic solutions and advance personalized medicine, Quintiles hassigned a strategic alliance with London Genetics.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Under the non-exclusivealliance, Quintiles and London Genetics will collaborate to help biopharmacompanies take advantage of pharmacogenetic solutions, including novelbiomarker and assay development services. By providing biopharma companiesstrategic advice on the application of pharmacogenetics and innovativepharmacogenetics solutions, Quintiles and London Genetics believe they can helpcustomers access additional resources and speed the delivery of targetedtreatments.
Quintiles develops proprietary and novel biomarker testsanalyzing genes and proteins that affect cell growth and mutation, and performsthese assays at labs in the United States, Scotland and China.
London Geneticsworks with London-based centers of excellence in genetics research to providepharmacogenetic solutions to the biopharmaceutical industry, aiming to helpcompanies partner with relevant academics and clinicians to apply geneticknowledge to de-risk clinical trials, design and manage projects and accesspatient cohorts.
The companies have not worked together before, and whilethey are not disclosing specific terms of their pact, Thomas Wollman, seniorvice president of Quintiles Global Central Laboratories, says the partnershipwill help biopharma companies execute a well designed strategy regardingpharmacogenetics, whether at the product, portfolio, pipeline or enterpriselevel.
"London Genetics is building a business relationship networkthat has some of the world's top experts in PGx strategy and implementation,and Quintiles has a globally networked infrastructure and expertise inbiomarker and assay development services to deliver on those efforts," Wollmansays. "We have world-class expertise to help early adopters of personalizedmedicine use genomic technologies to improve drug discovery and development,and a networked infrastructure to support those efforts virtually anywhere inthe world. Through this alliance, we can offer biopharma companies aworld-class blend of thinking and doing when it comes to implementing innovativepharmacogenetics solutions."
Dominique Kleyn, CEO of London Genetics, notes that theLondon-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 genomicdata for drug development. 
"Ultimately, our alliance will support biopharma in theirinteractions with academic partners and in the development of personalizedmedicines," she says. "Together, our approach combines world-class expertiseand global infrastructure to support the development of personalizedmedicines."
According to Klyen, the alliance offers mutual clients thebest of both worlds. Quintiles supports a joint approach that providesstrategic advice on the application of pharmacogenetics and the ability toaccess additional resources to deliver meaningful results within the tighttimeframes of clinical development programs. The alliance is non-exclusive andcan be extended by agreement.
"The focus of the alliance with Quintiles for LondonGenetics is to develop new business for the company in line with the mission ofusing its knowledge, experience and extensive networks to increase success inclinical development for new drugs and diagnostics," Klyen says. "As a resultof this alliance, we expect customers will become more aware of the opportunityto increase efficiency in clinical development and benefit from increasedavailability of the tools available within academic and commercial partners toachieve this."
London Genetics will also participate in briefing meetingsand client visits, and will develop proposals for client projects. Quintilesand London Genetics have also established an operational steering committee toevaluate client targeting opportunities.
"When clients undertake collaborative implementationprojects, London Genetics will coordinate access to the clinical and geneticexpertise and resource of its partner institutions," Klyen notes. "Thisexpertise and resource spans all therapeutic areas and includes a wide range oftechnologies.
"This is evidenced by the increasingly frequent collectionof DNA samples in clinical trials, the reorganization of larger companiesaround translational or stratified medicine teams and the appointment bymid-size firms of clinical development directors with pharmacogenetic orstratified medicine experience," she adds. "We are aware of this clear andgrowing need from the increased interest shown by biopharma in developing morepersonalized treatments and a growing realization that patients with the samediseases respond differently to drugs based on their genetic makeup."
The deal is latest by Quintiles, which in November inked two otherdeals: one with Biomoda to help the cancer diagnostics company refine its imagerecognition system for detecting early-stage lung cancer; and another with Dakofor integrated drug-diagnostic development services and companion diagnosticproducts, Dako's area of expertise.

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