Covance joins trial site group to speed up R&D

Covance's Jill Johnston

Covance, now a division of LabCorp ($LH), has signed a two-year partnership with the Society for Clinical Research Sites, joining a growing list of CROs working to improve communication between sponsors and investigators.

Founded in 2012, SCRS represents about 30,000 investigators and research staff in 42 countries, speaking for sites in an effort to better integrate them with sponsors and CROs in the R&D process.

Under the agreement, Covance is coming in as a so-called global impact partner, giving it an executive role within SCRS and a say in the group's new initiatives. The CRO joins INC Research ($INCR), PRA Health Sciences ($PRAH), Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and Merck ($MRK) among other global impact partners.

"Covance is committed to serving the clinical research community as a strong scientific partner in order to speed the development of innovative medicines that meet today's global healthcare needs," Vice President Jill Johnston said in a statement. "Our work with SCRS will help us better understand the needs of our clinical research partners and ultimately improve service to our pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients."

Meanwhile, Covance is settling into life as part of LabCorp after the pair's $6 billion merger closed in February. LabCorp, a leader in diagnostic tests, says it's building a company like no other in life sciences, merging its own testing prowess with Covance's share of the drug development market to create an outfit that can support a candidate therapy from its preclinical inception to well past its market debut.

In its first quarter after acquiring Covance, LabCorp's revenue jumped 23.9% to $1.4 billion. Covance's sales decreased 1.9% to $624.6 million compared with the same period last year.

- read the statement