Quintiles lends its sequencing skills to massive cardiovascular study

Global Genomics Group is in the midst of an expansive cardiovascular study with hopes of finding new biomarkers and drug targets for coronary artery disease, and now the company has enlisted the help of CRO giant Quintiles ($Q) to handle some of the necessary gene sequencing work.

The study, dubbed GLOBAL, has already enrolled 5,000 patients with the goal of enlisting 5,000 more, using imaging, whole genome sequencing, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics and other analysis methods to definitively characterize cardiovascular disease. And now Quintiles, through its genomics subsidiary Expression Analysis, is on board to provide RNA sequencing, microRNA sequencing and methylation analysis, which Global Genomics said are essential to its mission.

In lending a hand in the study, Quintiles joins Global Genomics partners Illumina ($ILMN) and Metabolon, sequencing luminaries that joined the effort last year. And for Expression Analysis, which Quintiles acquired in 2012, GLOBAL presents an opportunity to help shape the future of cardiovascular therapies, CEO Steve McPhail said.

"Cardiovascular diseases are among the leading cause of death around the world," McPhail said in a statement. "We look forward to working with G3 to support the discovery of new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in addition to the possibility of the discovery of new biologic pathways which may ultimately lead to the development of new therapeutics and individualized medical treatment options for patients."

For Quintiles, the years-long expansion binge that brought in Expression Analysis has also made it the world's largest CRO, and the company notched a major milestone with its first $1 billion quarter in Q4, finishing the year with net new business wins of $1.3 billion and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.29.

- read the announcement