Quintiles targets healthcare providers with its latest buy

Quintiles CEO Tom Pike

Quintiles ($Q), the world's largest CRO, is further expanding its outside-the-clinic business, agreeing to buy healthcare analytics outfit Encore Health Resources to beef up its access to real-world patient data.

It's something of a complete-the-circle deal for Quintiles, the company said, bringing in a provider-focused service to complement its existing wealth of capabilities in drug development and commercialization. Founded in 2009, Encore employs about 250 consultants who advise providers on the implementation of electronic health records (EHR). Quintiles has long billed itself as able to offer end-to-end services to its clients, and appending Encore's expertise only extends that reach, CEO Tom Pike said.

"Today's announcement signifies the increasing importance of leveraging EHR and real-world information to inform our customers and improve their probability of success," Pike said in a statement. "Encore has significant EHR expertise, strong relationships with many large U.S. provider networks and academic medical centers as well as experienced consultants, proven tools and methodologies."

Access to those outcomes data will bolster the rest of Quintiles' business, too, the company figures, giving biopharma clients valuable information as they launch their products but also providing a trove of ex-clinical results that can inform decicionmaking during the drug-development process.

Quintiles isn't disclosing the price tag on Encore, saying only that the company will join its Integrated Healthcare Services (IHS) segment once the deal closes some time this quarter.

The acquisition is also an effort to boost IHS, which is dwarfed by Quintiles' much larger product development business. Last year, the business' revenue fell 7.8% to $888.6 million, but the segment ticked up 6% to $234.5 million in the first quarter of 2014 thanks to some impressive net new business wins, a trend the company expects to continue.

Thanks in part to IHS' projected growth, Quintiles is planning for up to $4.2 billion in 2014 revenue, good for as much as 10% growth. The company is aiming for earnings per share of $2.45 to $2.58, translating to profit increases of 17% to 23%.

- read the announcement

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