Quintiles teams up with Ascendancy in China

Ascendancy Healthcare has tapped Quintiles ($Q) to help it capitalize on China's booming pharmaceutical market, asking the world's largest CRO to help it choose, develop and market in-licensed therapies.

Under the 2-and-a-half-year deal, Quintiles will join Ascendancy as it decides which therapeutic compounds to license, lending clinical research services and market access assistance in China and other high-growth Asian markets. Once that term is up, the two can extend their partnership for another 2 and a half years. Neither firm is disclosing financial details.

Ascendancy's model involves buying up the China rights to late-stage therapies from around the globe, and tapping Quintiles' local expertise will give it the ground necessary to move forward, CEO Sandy Zweifach said. 

"We believe this agreement with Quintiles will be a key contributor to Ascendancy's goal of becoming the leading partner for companies seeking to commercialize therapeutic products that address the needs of patients in China and other parts of Asia," Zweifach said in a statement. "We are in active discussions with innovative pharma and life sciences firms and expect to announce our first product licensing deal in the second half of this year."

Zweifach, former manager of Bay City Capital, co-founded Ascendancy with ex-Bayer CEO Arthur Higgins in 2011. The company's investors include Bay City and IndUS Growth Partners.

- read the announcement

Feature: Outsourcing in China: Big Pharma wants partners, not just contractors