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Quintiles calls partnership innovative

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Quintiles is touting its new, five-year agreement with European pharmaceutical company Merck Serono as a novel approach in drug-development.

Financial details weren't disclosed.

Under the deal announced Wednesday, Durham-based Quintiles will be the "sole primary provider" of drug-development services for Merck Serono -- which means it will provide the bulk of services, with niche providers filling in with specialty services that Quintiles doesn't offer. The novel part of the deal is that Quintiles also will collaborate extensively on drug-development strategy.

"We will be providing input throughout the drug-development process," said Quintiles spokesman Kevin Nash. "We're going to be making decisions together."

The aim of the collaboration is to create a "streamlined, more efficient process," Nash said.

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Germany-based Merck, which last year generated $14.5 billion in revenue from its drug, chemical and life science businesses. Merck Serono is not connected to U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., although both share common roots.

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About the blogger

David Ranii has been a business reporter at The News & Observer since 1993. Over the years he has covered information technology, banking, insurance, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, media businesses and real estate. Contact him at 919-829-4877 or e-mail him.