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ICON inks strategic partnership with Shire Specialty Pharmaceuticals

Clinical News | January 10, 2012


Peter Mansell

ICON inks strategic partnership with Shire Specialty Pharmaceuticals

ICON has added to its roster of strategic partnerships by hooking up with Shire Specialty Pharmaceuticals as sole global provider of the business’s central laboratory services and one of two strategic partners for its clinical development services.

In the latter setting, ICON will provide Shire with a full range of services including site and country feasibility, ethics and regulatory submissions, clinical trial monitoring, project management, site and study team support, medical management and medical data review, said the global provider of outsourced development services based – like Shire – in Ireland.

In the sole provider arrangement, Shire will have access to ICON Central Laboratories’ “extensive test” menu from its global laboratory network, the latter added.

The split provider model echoes ICON’s existing strategic partnerships with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Pfizer, where it shares clinical development coverage with Parexel. Last August ICON consolidated its relationship with BMS, announcing a preferred provider agreement with the US-based company for early-phase clinical studies.

Another endorsement

According to ICON’s chief executive officer, Ciaran Murray, the latest announcement is “yet another endorsement of ICON’s expertise in operating under strategic partnership models”.

The company’s track record in this field is down to “the right blend of development services and global testing facilities, all of which are underpinned by robust processes and innovative technology”, Murray commented. 

Reporting its third-quarter results last November, ICON noted that its success in developing strategic partnerships had led to record net new business worth US$431 million for Q3.

As it waits for the revenues to feed through from these business gains, ICON has also seen its partnership strategy push up short-term costs. The company turned in an operating loss of US$3.68 million for the third quarter ended 30 September 2011.

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