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Astellas signs global CRO deal with INC Research

Functional service provider alliance aims to save time and money in clinical development

Astellas has signed a global strategic alliance with contract research organisation (CRO) INC Research that will cover “multiple clinical development programmes across several therapeutic areas”.

As part of the deal, INC will set up a new business unit to deliver functional service provider (FSP) services to Astellas, which it says will allow it to provide “independent, cross-functional resource management” and train its staff more effectively for the partnership.

FSP deals contrast with the full service approach CROs often take, instead focusing on providing specific services to their clients. In this case Astellas will outsource a number of highly specialised drug development tasks to INC.

Work under the companies' agreement began on April 2, 2012, and the deal will initially run for three years, in the process delivering significant time and cost savings for Astellas, according to INC.

"INC Research has worked with Astellas on several full-service development programmes 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 James Ogle, CEO at INC.

"With mutually agreed expectations and insight into Astellas' development pipeline, our dedicated teams will utilise our innovative tools and proprietary processes to efficiently manage these clinical development elements and drive global consistency across development programmes."

The services INC will provide Astellas include clinical monitoring, clinical data management, trial master file management, site start-up and study feasibility activities.

INC has been increasing its presence in the market in recent years, acquiring fellow CRO Kendle International and picking up the global clinical development unit of MDS Pharma Services in 2009.

18th April 2012

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