Quintiles is incorporating privately held Expression Analysis quickly into its plans to expand services and capabilities in the field of genomics.

In response to questions from WRAL News, Quintiles said all of the employees at the privately held RTP firm have joined the world’s largest life sciences firm. Among them is Chief Executive Officer Steve McPhail. The deal was announced Monday.

The Q&A with Jay Johnson, senior director of corporate communications for Quintiles:

Are all employees being offered jobs?

Yes, all of EA’s employees have joined Quintiles (EA has about 77 employees, most of them based at its offices near RTP Avenue, Durham). This is a growing business and industry, and we anticipate that it will continue to grow. This acquisition does not involve layoffs. There are no plans at this time to relocate EA employees, nor are there any plans to relocate current Quintiles staff.

We believe the proximity of EA offices to Quintiles global headquarters (both in Durham), in addition to easing the integration process and making collaboration easier, has a significant benefit in terms of opening more career path opportunities to EA employees.

Quintiles believes EA’s genomics expertise and insights are of significant benefit to biopharma, governmental and academic institutions, and other healthcare stakeholders. New hiring depends on business growth; the acquisition of EA was designed to help drive that growth.

The addition of EA complements Quintiles growing portfolio of molecular biology testing capabilities, which is critical to meet growing global demand for these services. The services and expertise EA provides supports our vision of delivering knowledge-based clinical development and commercialization solutions to dramatically improve efficiency, productivity and quality.

What happens to EA CEO? If he stays, what is his title and to whom does he report?

EA’s key management team members are joining Quintiles, including President and CEO Steve McPhail; Eric Setzer, CFO; Wendell Jones, Ph.D., VP of Statistical and Bioinformatics; Patrick Hurban, Ph.D., VP of R&D; and Tyler Aldredge, VP of Laboratory Operations.

EA will be a part of Quintiles Global Laboratories, led by Thomas Wollman, Senior Vice President, Quintiles Global Laboratories.

Does Quintiles has plans to expand EA’s programs and offerings?

EA provides services for studies in the U.S. and Europe. Quintiles Central Laboratories and EA will coordinate product development and service delivery to meet customer global needs. EA’s expertise and experience will better inform Quintiles Global Labs leadership about how to address genomic services in Asia and elsewhere around the world to meet customer needs.

Quintiles gives EA access to unsurpassed global resources (25,000 employees, offices in 60 countries); market-leading services across the clinical and commercial spectrum; strong business development platform; close strategic relationships with many of the world’s leading biopharma companies, with unrivaled access to biopharma customers of all sizes globally; and financial strength for expansion and partnerships.

With access to more clinical programs, EA’s expertise can be applied more broadly to improve the knowledge of diseases and treatments at the molecular level; patient selection; and the productivity and efficiency of clinical research.

Other Points

Johnson explained that Quintiles sees many benefits in making the deal:

“Acquisition of Expression Analysis adds significant capabilities and expertise to Quintiles,” Johnson said, “including:

  • “Genomic capabilities into the rapidly growing next-generation sequencing and clinical discovery genomic services markets.
  • “Scientific and technical knowledge base to better support biomarker and companion diagnostic customer needs from a laboratory and clinical perspective.
  • “Bioinformatic platform well suited to support an integrated drug development data model that will encompass genomic as well as clinical data.”

In June, Quintiles also struck a deal for a database including 40 million individual electronic medical health records.

The Future for Expression Analysis

“EA provides whole genome to focused-set gene expression and genotyping assays, along with next-generation sequencing services, sequence enrichment technologies and bioinformatics support,” Johnson said.

“EA will continue to support its current projects, customers and services in genomic preclinical and discovery studies providing the level of quality and customer service that has made them the leaders in these fields.

“EA also provides consulting services to customers about genomic technologies – especially important as biopharma looks to become more efficient by working with best-in-breed providers of specialized services rather than rely solely on in-house capabilities or less qualified laboratories.”

Expression Analysis becomes part of Quintiles Global Laboratories business group. 

Why Make the Deal?

Johnson says the acquisition is part of Quintiles’ efforts to increase research into drug and disease treatment based on genomics.

“EA is the latest in a series of acquisitions [and] alliances that enable Quintiles to help customers leverage science to better understand diseases; develop drugs and diagnostics, and deliver safer, more effective therapies based on genetic makeup of disease and patient,” he explained.

“Examples include:

  • “Strategic alliance with Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, expanding Quintiles’ commitment to preclinical research and personalized medicine to support customer trials and patient healthcare needs.
  • “Acquisition last October of Advion: expanded Quintiles laboratory solutions and technical expertise in drug bioanalytical and in vitro ADME studies.
  • “Quintiles participation in an innovative public-private collaboration, the I-SPY 2 trial. The FDA recently issued draft regulatory guidance about a better way to conduct breast cancer trials that may substantially reduce the time and costs of delivering treatments to patients. The FDA’s draft guidance is based on lessons learned in I-SPY 2, for which Quintiles is providing expertise, operational support and $2.6 million in funding. The I-SPY 2 trial leverages biomarkers and adaptive trial processes to establish a better way to conduct breast cancer trials.”

[QUINTILES ARCHIVE: Check out a decade of Quintiles stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]