Salesforce, QuintilesIMS Team to Push New Therapies to Market

Salesforce has entered an alliance withQuintilesIMS aimed at helping life sciences companies move treatments from clinical phases to commercial applications more effectively.

QuintilesIMS, formed last year through the merger of healthcare data provider IMS Health and medical research firm Quintiles Transnational, is one of the world’s largest integrated healthcare services companies. The combined entity has 50,000 employees in 100 different countries.

QuintilesIMS plans to use the Salesforce Platform’s cloud, mobile, social and artificial intelligence capabilities to build new solutions to bring therapies to market.

Clinical Trials

QuintilesIMS initially plans to use Salesforce to help manage clinical trials, patient recruitment, marketing and other functions, according to Quintiles spokesperson Tor Constantino.

For example, the companies will work together on ways to improve the feasibility of clinical trials, improve patient enrollment and communications, and help mitigate delays, he told CRM Buyer.

Over the long term, QuintilesIMS plans to work with Salesforce on items like digital health, patient engagement and precision management, according to Constantino.

Salesforce has worked with Quintiles for more than a decade, dating back to 2004, when it inked a deal to provide CRM software for more than 2,000 users at Quintiles Transnational.

The alliance will help QuintilesIMS “create solutions that empower life sciences firms to collaborate with providers and patients in smarter and more predictive ways throughout the clinical life cycle,” said Salesforce COO Keith Block.

The deal represents “transformative potential for the life sciences industry, as it will better equip and enable our customers to meet the clinical and commercial challenges they face as they move healthcare forward,” noted Kevin Knightly, QuintilesIMS president, information and technology solutions.

The agreement represents a clear validation of Salesforce’s efforts to build its health cloud business, observed Jeff Kaplan, managing director at ThinkStrategies.

It shows how Salesforce’s cloud solutions can be leveraged with healthcare service providers like QuintelesIMS, he told CRM Buyer.

Mega Merger

The Salesforce deal is significant for QuintilesIMS, as it is one of the company’s first major announcements since the 2016 merger between Quintiles Transnational and IMS Health Holdings was announced nearly a year ago.

The goal of the merger was to help transform the clinical trial process while creating a database of anonymous patient information that could be used to drive new efficiencies in the pharmaceutical and patient care industries.

When announcing the merger, the companies anticipated the deal would create an annual run-rate in cost savings of US$100 million by year three. The combined companies reported revenue of $7.78 billion for 2016, an increase of more than 7.4 percent, and issued a full-year forecast of between $8.1 and $8.2 billion — between $4.40 and $4.55 a share.

The Salesforce deal is important because “partnership strategy is key,” said Sheryl Kingstone, research director at 451 Research.

“Salesforce looks to vertical partners such as QunitilesIMS to build upon the Salesforce platform for its customers,” she told CRM Buyer.

“While Salesforce has made headway into a few key verticals, it relies very heavily on its partners,” Kingstone pointed out. “Life Sciences and Healthcare are critical vertical markets that are undergoing digital transformation, with 32 percent in the planning stages and 24 percent in formal strategies.”

Salesforce last month entered an agreement to integrate the Veeva CRM and Salesforce Marketing Cloud to deliver a more coordinated and consistent experience for healthcare professionals.

Veeva is a worldwide provider of CRM for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and the companies have more than 250 combined customers.

David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain's New York Business and The New York Times.

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