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Patrice Hugo, Ph.D. | December 08, 2015

Better Together

Earlier this year, Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics launched Q2 Solutions, a combined clinical trials laboratory services organization. This isn’t just important for the companies involved. It reflects the changing trends of the biopharmaceutical space, and how strategic shifts in the landscape are creating efficiencies that are will help biopharmaceutical companies bring more efficient and safer new drugs to market faster.
Earlier this year, Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics launched Q2 Solutions, a combined clinical trials laboratory services organization. This isn’t just important for the companies involved. It reflects the changing trends of the biopharmaceutical space, and how strategic shifts in the landscape are creating efficiencies that are will help biopharmaceutical companies bring more efficient and safer new drugs to market faster.

Innovative business models such as this one bring drug developers an end-to-end solution that enables them to take better advantage of the expertise and global reach of their strategic partners. Q2 Solutions is the second-largest central laboratory services provider in the world, and through this marriage, we are able to harness the complementary strengths, expertise and scale of both parent organizations’ clinical trial lab services businesses to the benefit of the global biopharmaceutical marketplace. Specifically, we can address some of the time and resource inefficiencies that have plagued clinical trial laboratories for years.

The clinical trial conundrum

There are three strategic drivers to delivering any clinical trial: quality, time and cost. In most trials, biopharmaceutical companies have to constantly juggle these drivers, and often find themselves forced to choose the two that are most important at the expense of the third. The Q2 Solutions approach helps eliminate many of these pressures by reducing the non-value added tasks that can add so much cost and waste to this process.

One of the key efficiencies that biopharmaceutical companies receive from the coming together of two organizations is that instead of dealing with potentially hundreds of independent laboratories, each with their own staff, processes and quality expectations, they work with a single organization throughout the lifecycle of the clinical study. That means one point of contact, one contract, one consolidated database and access to a unified network laboratory testing platforms, instruments and harmonized assays, and an extended group of subject matter experts to support their clinical trial laboratory needs whether they are working in Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific or China.

This ability can immediately reduce a significant amount of time and work from the clinical trial process, freeing resource from biopharmaceutical companies to focus on value-driven steps with partners who will be with them from start to finish. This end-to-end approach also creates greater opportunities to build trusting partnerships, identify risks in the development cycle and collaboratively create the best plan for that drug product. Hence, it supports value creation throughout the drug development continuum from early engagement protocol design and biomarker assay development to post-approval launch of companion diagnostics in commercial settings involving clinical specialists and scientists experts from Quintiles, Q2 Solutions and Quest Diagnostics laboratory operations. All of this can improve the probability of success of the approval process, decrease the overall cost of development and increase the therapeutic benefit (and thus Return On Investments) of a new drug by ensuring trials focus on the right drug, for the right patient, at the right time.

A precision approach

The benefits that can result from this type of partnership are especially critical in the precision medicine space, where Q2 Solutions is delivering exciting new capabilities around informatics and genomics to enhance drug development. Currently, 42 percent of all drugs in development are precision medicines and 73 percent of oncology drugs in development are precision medicines1. For biopharmaceutical companies, integrating biomarker and companion diagnostic development expertise can help them build a more solid foundation by jointly establishing a strategy for identification and validation of biomarkers using orthogonal methods and design control approach to develop companion diagnostic reduced to practice and demonstrated clinical utility. Most importantly, this expertise will help identify and mitigate the risks that can derail the development of promising drugs.

We believe this model is best suited to use our network of clinical trial laboratory assets to advance precision medicine, and to drive efficiencies into the global clinical trial process for all biopharmaceutical stakeholders. By providing customers with access to the broader footprint and clinical trial laboratory services expertise of our two parent companies, we can help customers improve human health through innovation that transforms science and data into actionable medical insights. Ultimately, our hope is that this partnership can begin to generate real change in the way clinical trials are pursued.


Related Services: Tufts Impact Report: Personalized medicine gains traction but still faces multiple challenges. May/June 2015.