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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – When looking for growth in the world’s pharmaceutical and life sciences market, is heading East, says Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Gillings.

"The reason to move to Asia is that is where the economies are growing, the amount of pharmaceuticals that gets sold is growing dramatically and the research base is growing from scratch and expanding," Gillings told Kevin Brown of the Financial Times .

Quintiles is already the world’s largest contract research organization for life science firms with more than 24,000 employees worldwide. But the privately held Triangle company also offers consulting and investment services as well as funding.

Gillings is the firm’s founder and is a former professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Even as the world has fallen deeper into a long recession, Quintiles continues to grow. It is expanding facilities in Asia as well as Africa and recently announced a major move in Scotland that will create some 150 jobs.

However, the best growth opportunities are in Asia as the region is increasingly demanding more drugs and services. Gillings told the FT that he sees “dramatic shifts” in pharmaceutical spending.

Asian sales make up 20 percent of Quintiles’ nearly $3 billion annual revenues but Gillings forecast that share to increaser to 25 percent in two years and to 33 percent in a decade.

"Looking forward 10 years we will have all the same expertise here and the same size, if not larger, than in any other geographic region, no question," Gillings said.

"I would imagine we would also have a lot more managerial leadership in this part of the world. I also believe we would be doing a lot more partnering with China and India in terms of research activities going on."