INC Research and Astellas expand alliance

INC Research and Astellas Pharma have taken their business relationship to the next level. The American CRO and the Japanese pharma outfit entered a three-year, functional service provider (FSP) alliance that kicked off earlier this month.

During the initial three-year deal, INC will provide Astellas with various services including clinical monitoring, clinical data management, trial master file management, site start-up and study-feasibility activities, INC said in a statement. The deal also allows INC to develop a business unit for Astellas that will focus on the delivery and implementation of the FSP services, all while reducing costs by up to 40% and boosting time savings from 10% to 20% over the course of their business relationship.

For CROs to find continued success and separate themselves from the competition, FSP outsourcing is being seen as a hot commodity, as Big Pharma companies like Eli Lilly ($LLY), Merck ($MRK) and Sanofi ($SNY) have all expressed interest in the model. Even more so now for INC--timing of the deal comes at an especially good time for the Raleigh-based CRO, which is closing its Old Lyme, CT, facility because of a lack of clinical trial activity in the state.   

"INC Research has worked with Astellas on several full-service development programs where our teams have created strong bonds and deep level of trust, and we are excited to extend that relationship through our FSP alliance," said INC CEO James Ogle in a company statement. "With mutually agreed expectations and insight into Astellas' development pipeline, our dedicated teams will utilize our innovative tools and proprietary processes to efficiently manage these clinical development elements and drive global consistency across development programs."

- read INC's statement on the deal
- see PharmaTimes' report