Quintiles $300M loan plan yields info on big year for outsourcing

Quintiles Transnational aims to borrow $300 million in a secured term loan to help fund a $335 million dividend for shareholders, after the company posted double-digit revenue growth last year, S&P reported in its rating on the loan. And the CRO heavyweight has benefited from a number of Big Pharma outsourcing trends that point to future prosperity.

Privately held Quintiles doesn't report financials like publicly traded companies do. However, the S&P analysis of the Durham, NC-based contract research group highlights factors that could benefit the company, such as the increase in strategic tie ups between drugmakers and CROs and a growing share of clinical development work getting thrown over the wall. The financial group noted that 71% of development work isn't outsourced, leaving plenty of business yet to grab for companies like Quintiles.

Quintiles is one of the largest providers of outsourced clinical development services, with the majority of that business anchored by large late-stage trials, according to S&P. Biopharma companies have been slashing their internal R&D budgets and looking outside their four walls for service partnerships, and they have sought deep cuts on the expensive development side of the R&D equation.

Drugmakers such as Pfizer ($PFE) have sought to narrow their number of clinical development partners and give large blocks of their clinical trials work to a select few CROs via strategic partnerships. With large CROs in a position to take on the work in these deals, Quintiles is among the companies that should benefit from the trend, according to S&P.
Phil Bridges, a spokesman for Quintiles, told Outsourcing-Pharma the company has a record number of business victories in 2011 and most of the company's employees will pocket bonuses.

- here's S&P's note on Quintiles
- see the report in Outsourcing-Pharma