AstraZeneca's rapid-fire IT dealmaking continues with Elixir hookup

AstraZeneca ($AZN) has struck its fourth IT deal of 2015. The Big Pharma continued its busy start to the year by extending its use of Elixir Software's R&D workflow-management software, in part to support communication while it is moving its focal point in the United Kingdom from Alderley Park to Cambridge.

Elixir and AstraZeneca began working together two years ago; since then the former's work-scheduling software iTraX has become an established tool to connect internal teams and CROs involved with R&D at the Big Pharma. The three-year deal unveiled this week will build on this relationship, notably by allowing AstraZeneca to apply Elixir's cloud-based software to other scientific areas. Elixir singled out the facilitation of scientific communication during AstraZeneca's relocation to Cambridge as a key facet of the expanded relationship.

AstraZeneca's willingness to entrust iTraX with this important aspect of its strategy to minimize disruption during the move is underpinned by its experience over the past two years. "iTraX has become an integral part of our [drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic] workflow," Dr. Matt Wood, associate director of oncology DMPK at AstraZeneca, said in a statement. "The system has saved a significant amount of [full-time equivalent] time and allowed us to apply the lean process thinking of visual planning to our diverse working environment."

The Elixir deal is the fourth IT contract AstraZeneca is known to have entered into since the turn of the year. In January, AstraZeneca entrusted Box ($BOX) to be the file sharing and collaboration platform for its 51,000 employees and struck a three-year on-site IT services deal with Computacenter. The following month, AstraZeneca picked Labguru as its biological reagent management platform. The deals are part of a broader reassessment of IT needs and capabilities at AstraZeneca, which has seen the company start setting up in-house capacity to wean itself off outsourcing.

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