Strategic Partnering

Marketplace pressures are forcing pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to find new ways of bringing compounds to market. Outsourcing is moving from the tactical (“Which CRO can best manage my samples?”) to the strategic (“Which CRO can accelerate timelines by expanding capacity and cutting costs?”). This demand for scalability is especially important for biopharmaceutical companies that need to leverage the capabilities of CROs to make investment decisions more quickly and efficiently.

Covance generates more drug development data
for the regulatory evaluation of efficacy
and safety than any other company in the world

The catalyst for outsourcing growth is the significant pressure on pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to improve R&D productivity — by reducing both the time and cost of drug development. Covance offers several action-oriented alternatives to drive R&D productivity, including:

  • Ability to reduce fixed-cost infrastructures and make costs more variable
  • Access an inherently more scalable and efficient development model
  • A proven record of accelerating drug development timelines

The shift from tactical to more long-term, dedicated outsourcing bodes well for Covance.  Our market leading portfolio of drug development services and proven record of creating new outsourcing models positions us as the strategic outsourcing partner of choice.

Strategic Partnering

Historically, the work pharmaceutical sponsors outsourced was almost entirely traditional “one-off” project work or swing capacity. However, over the past few years, Covance has expanded its approach to encompass new models of outsourcing.  Multiphase integrated development; dedicated capacity agreements; and asset transfers are some of the new outsourcing models that make up the most strategic and fastest-growing component of Covance revenue. 

One example of strategic partnering is the landmark asset transfer and 10-year, $1.6 billion services agreement with Eli Lilly and Company.  This partnership helped to transform Lilly’s R&D model by making its fixed-cost infrastructure more flexible. This historic collaboration delivered one of the most innovative actions a pharmaceutical company has ever taken in response to its R&D productivity challenges.

In addition, Covance won two seven-year sole-source partnerships for central laboratory services, both with top 10 pharmaceutical companies. These agreements benefit our clients by reducing the time and effort spent contracting services on a project-by-project basis, and they give clients the assurance of working with the most sophisticated, global, and experienced central laboratory in the world.

Integrated Drug Development

Integrating multiple elements of development services, Nonclinical Integrated Drug Development results in much faster development times. Covance performed the IND/CTA enabling safety programs that enabled clients to submit more than 120 IND/CTA applications in the past three years.

Clients are increasingly recognizing our Phase II/III clinical development service delivery as market leading, based on our ability to enhance the clinical trial process with informed analysis and metrics that improve clinical trial planning and performance. As evidence of this, we were chosen as a clinical development strategic partner by two major pharmaceutical companies.

Over the years, Covance has evolved from being a tactical project-by-project vendor to a true strategic partner with our clients, leading industry pioneering moves such as dedicated capacity agreements, strategic partnerships and alliances, and asset-transfer deals with key pharmaceutical companies.

To support future growth, Covance continues to invest in new capacity and state-of-the-art automation and information technology systems across our company.  As challenging market conditions lead our clients to think of outsourcing more strategically, we anticipate that their interest in multifaceted relationships and integrated service offerings will continue to grow.


Read about trends in strategic partnering and integrated drug development by downloading the latest issue of Developments.

Spring 2011 Issue

In this issue:

  • Drug Discovery Outsourcing: Moving Forward
  • Covance and sanofi-aventis Join in 10-Year Strategic R&D Alliance
  • Molecule Development Partnerships