Bristol-Myers picks Quintiles for central lab work

Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) has inked a preferred provider deal with Quintiles, selecting the CRO giant to handle global central lab services for its pipeline treatments.

The 5-year deal also tasks Quintiles with biomarker testing and assay development, the company said, adding to the CRO's all-star roster of partners in Big Pharma.

"This agreement deepens the commitment our companies share to providing patients access to effective, safe and affordable treatments," Quintiles' Global Laboratories Senior VP Thomas Wollman said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb to bring personalized medicine into mainstream drug development."

Neither company is discussing financial terms or getting into specifics about which therapeutic areas the partnership will cover, but the deal comes as BMS prepares to spend $250 million to ramp up its R&D efforts, expanding biologics manufacturing and hiring 350 workers.

As for Quintiles, this is the first bit of officially released news from the CRO since it announced plans to go public in February. Since filing with the SEC, the company has been silent on just how many shares it intends to offer, listing a $600,000 million IPO that could well increase as it moves through the process.

- read the announcement