INC Research, a global clinical research firm based in Raleigh, is teaming up with neighbor SAS to utilize analytics in clinical trials.

INC and the Cary-based software firm want to improve drug development and risk management through the use of health analytics tools from SAS.

According to a spokesperson for INC, the agreement with SAS enables INC to offer services other so-called contract research organizations do not.

“INC Research is teaming up with health analytics leader, SAS, to help its customers improve clinical trial outcomes by providing them with an integrated suite of Clinical Trial Design Simulation tools that will transform the clinical development process by increasing decision-making speed, efficiency and flexibility in clinical development, ultimately improving the ability to manage risk, control investment and maximize [return on investment],” the spokesperson said in an email.

“While other CROs utilize SAS technology, this development partnership with SAS is unique as INC Research is leveraging a vast amount of its own historical clinical research data to develop sound analytical tools,” she added. “This level of analysis is beyond anything available in the CRO industry.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“In an environment of growing trial complexity and shrinking R&D budgets, our biopharmaceutical customers demand innovative solutions and enhanced efficiencies in drug development,” said James Ogle, chief executive officer of INC, in a statement announcing the deal.

“By joining forces with SAS and its advanced analytics platform, INC Research can help customers better predict commercially successful outcomes earlier in the process to maximize development efforts,” he added.

SAS is a global leader in analytics and last week announced a deal with UNC-Chapel Hill to utilize analytics in cancer research.

“Organizations across the pharmaceutical industry seek novel ways to increase productivity, control costs and manage R&D risks. INC Research and SAS believe health analytics can have a meaningful impact today in clinical research,” said Kecia Serwin, general manager of Health and Life Sciences at SAS.

Like SAS, INC is privately held. The firm has made three acquisitions this year and now has more than 5,000 employees.

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