Quintiles, the world’s largest provider of services for the pharmaceutical industry, has long done business with SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company. Now, the two Triangle firms are doing business together.

, a contract research organization based in Durham, and , which is based in Cary, said Wednesday that they are developing what they call a “unique program” to train specialists in SAS programming.

The goal is to help graduates of the program to better evaluate clinical trials results.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Quintiles has used SAS software since the company’s founding in the 1980s,” said Quintiles spokesperson Phil Bridges. “The use of SAS software is important to Quintiles’ ability to evaluate the efficacy and safety of new medications.”

The new program is called “Quintiles-SAS Clinical Trials Statistical Programming Certification.”

Quintiles works with pharmaceutical and bioscience firms doing research and development around the world. In recent years, SAS has become much more interested in the drug sector, particularly in the use of genomics data.

The training program is designed to help analysts to organize, analyze and report clinical trials results. It will include training materials as well as an examn.

“We’re responding to a customer need through this collaboration with Quintiles,” said Herbert Kirk, vice president of SAS’ Education Division. “The pharma and biotech industries have statistical requirements that our standard certification exams don’t measure. With this new certification, our pharma customers can hire people with confidence.”

The program will be released at a SAS pharmaceutical users group conference next May in Portland, Ore.

“This initiative demonstrates Quintiles’ commitment to advanced training in the statistical evaluation of clinical trial results, which is altogether fitting for a company founded by biostatisticians,” said Michael Fiola, senior director of Quintiles Global Biostatistics, said. “We believe we have the industry’s most talented, best trained and most highly engaged work force to help our customers develop and deliver better medicines more quickly. This program illustrates our dedication to delivering the best clinical trials statistical programming in the world.”