In May 2016 a megamerger between Quintiles, the world’s largest CRO, and healthcare data and consultancy firm IMS was announced, with the combined company branded as Quintiles IMS. With a market capitalisation of more than $19B, Quintiles IMS cemented its place as the world’s largest and most comprehensive healthcare information and clinical development service based CRO. The deal offered compelling commercial, operational and financial synergies, leading industry analysts to predict that this would be the first of many partnerships between leading CROs and Healthcare Informatics companies.
Now that dust has settled on the merger between Quintiles and IMS, the next question is who will be next major CRO to tie up in this manner. There are a significant number of Contract Research players who have an active interest in Healthcare informatics and ‘real world’ outcomes.
Evolution Bioscience Director Dr. Frank Rinaldi predicts that players such as PPD, PRA, ICON, INC and Wuxi will seek to add Healthcare Analytics offerings to their portfolios, either through further M&A activity or collaborations. Of note is the fact that ICON have recently made moves in the collaboration direction with IBM, with the two companies working together on a pilot programme that has the potential to transform clinical trial feasibility, patient recruitment and study start-up timelines by using IBM’s Watson super-computing system for Clinical Trial Matching to relevant trials.
Whilst the dust has settled for Quintiles IMS Holdings, it will surely rise again in the near future as their competitors scramble to match or exceed their combined comprehensive service level.