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Pfizer streamlines clinical trials with CROs
July 2011
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NEW YORK—Pfizer Inc. recently announced strategic partnerships with contract research service providers ICON PLC and Parexel International Corp., for clinical trial implementation over a five-year period that began last month.

Pfizer will retain scientific ownership of the clinical development process and maintain strict oversight and quality standards relating to patient safety and regulatory compliance.

Pfizer said the partnerships reflect its "recent commitment to strengthen the performance of its innovative core." Pfizer announced in February a comprehensive program of change in R&D to sharpen research focus, deliver differentiated innovation and create a more flexible cost base through external partnerships for certain R&D services. Pfizer said the new partnership model for clinical trial execution will enable it to focus internally on its core capability in clinical trial design, while leveraging the strengths and scale of ICON and Parexel to implement clinical development programs "with greater efficiency and rigor."

"We conducted a thorough selection process to find the right partners and selected ICON and Parexel because of the strength of their services and their steadfast commitment to quality and regulatory compliance, a deep belief in collaboration and a strong drive to deliver success," said Dr. John Hubbard, Pfizer's senior vice president of development operations, in a statement.

Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed, but Pfizer said ICON and Parexel will receive incentives if they meet certain benchmarks in quality, speed, cost management and innovation.

Pfizer added that the agreement does not substantially change the proportion of clinical trial implementation services that it outsources.

"The two-partner model will simplify our processes, significantly reducing the number of external service providers we use for clinical trial execution, and clarify accountability in risk and quality management," said Hubbard.


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