Quintiles touts its talent as cash rolls in

Quintiles CEO Tom Pike

In the CRO world, the fight to secure contracts and strategic partnerships often comes down to expertise, and Quintiles ($Q), the industry's largest outfit, believes it has a serious competitive advantage. The North Carolina CRO said it employs twice as many M.D.s and Ph.D.s as any of its competitors, giving it a leg up in the changing world of science.

As the Triangle Business Journal reports, CEO Tom Pike said his company has 950 M.D.s and 900 Ph.D.s on staff, who, alongside more than 25,000 workers across 100 countries, allow Quintiles to offer expertise in a wide range of fields integral to drug development. And the company's scale--$3.8 billion in revenue last year--allows it to make investments in talent that its competitors can't follow, Pike said.

"With the advent of precision or personalized medicine with risk-based monitoring, with adaptive trials, expertise is critical for our customers to be successful," Pike said. "We're the leaders in the creation and interaction of technology with people and process to deliver results in clinical development."

As the Journal notes, some of Quintiles' success is due to geography. Surrounded by Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the CRO is awash in qualified candidates, and many of its clients call the Triangle home.

Meanwhile, Quintiles notched its first-ever $1 billion service revenue quarter in Q4, capping off a year in which sales jumped 3.1% and profits increased 27.7% to $226.6 million. For 2014, the CRO is expecting up to 9% growth, figuring service revenue will come in between $4.1 billion and $4.2 billion.

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