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Bayer signs strategic CRO partnership with Covance

Deal covers R&D services in clinical drug development

Bayer has agreed a long-term contract research organisation (CRO) partnership deal that will see the pharma company outsource some of its clinical drug development work to Covance.

The agreement will see Covance provide R&D services related to the German pharma company’s phase II-IV clinical trials as well as central laboratory services.

Bayer has worked with Covance for a number of years and said its goal now was to make better use of Covance’s broad range of experience and services to give it best-in-class operational delivery, efficiency and quality.

As with many outsourcing deals the pharma company also has its eye on the bottom line and noted that its agreement with Covance would deliver “significant financial benefits to both organisations”.

Bayer’s head of global development Kemal Malik said the agreement would give both partners an opportunity to develop a “broader-based partnership in the future to deliver mutual benefits”.

John Watson, president of strategic partnering and chief commercial officer at Covance, said his company had already “established an enduring relationship with Bayer”.

He added: “We look forward to working together with Bayer HealthCare to identify opportunities to leverage our broad portfolio to generate more efficiencies thereby reducing the overall time and cost of drug development.”

The tie-up follows a number of prominent pharma-CRO deals this year, including Amgen’s biosimilar deal with PRA, a global agreement between Astellas and INC Research and Lilly’s partnership with Chinese CRO Shangpharma.

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