RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., and DEERFIELD, Ill., November 29, 2001 - Quintiles Transnational Corp. (Nasdaq: QTRN) and First Genetic Trust, Inc., today announced the formation of a strategic alliance to develop pharmacogenetic services to advance drug development.
The alliance of Quintiles and First Genetic Trust is designed to make pharmacogenetic services available as part of any clinical trial program, thereby supporting the pharmaceutical industry's quest to develop targeted, genetic-based individualized medicine. Quintiles is the world's leading pharmaceutical services organization, and First Genetic Trust is a premier provider of high security genetic banking, education and advisory services.
The strategic alliance has already resulted in Quintiles providing clinical development expertise for a project that First Genetic Trust is conducting with a major pharmaceutical company in conjunction with a pharmacogenetics post marketing study.
Quintiles, through its PharmaBio Development group, also will make an equity investment in First Genetic Trust. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"It is increasingly understood that genetic factors influence both disease susceptibility and response to treatment," said Arthur Holden, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Genetic Trust. "However, progress toward an era of 'personalized medicine' in which treatment is tailored to an individual's genetic profile will require comprehensive, secure genetic information systems and data services to support the development and adoption of genetic-based medicines and diagnostics."
Ludo Reynders, Quintiles' Chief Executive Officer for Clinical Development Services, said: "We are at the dawn of an exciting era. Pharmacogenetics has the potential to impact healthcare and the drug development process significantly. This alliance with First Genetic Trust marks an important step towards understanding how pharmacogenetics can be used to improve patient selection for more efficient clinical trials, and ultimately, how this new field can contribute to developing targeted, individualized medicines. We believe that First Genetic Trust offers a secure genetics infrastructure essential for data privacy."
Pharmacogenetics focuses on the genetic basis of how a person might respond to drug treatment. Small genetic variations are known to influence, for example, the way an individual metabolizes drugs, and identifying such variations has potential applications in drug development research and in medical treatment. An individual's genetic profile could help predict whether a particular drug is likely to be effective or likely to cause an adverse reaction. Pharmacogenetic data are also expected to be useful in selecting patients to participate in clinical trials and in helping physicians tailor drug dosages for individual patients.
"A growing body of evidence suggests that adverse drug reactions that were thought to be unpredictable and unpreventable may one day be diagnosed and avoided by prescribing medications based on an individual patient's genetic profile," said Mr. Holden, who also serves as Chairman of The SNP Consortium, Ltd., a nonprofit group sponsored by 11 major pharmaceutical, medical, and technology companies working with The Wellcome Trust to create high quality, high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) maps of the human genome.
About First Genetic Trust
First Genetic Trust, Inc. has been formed to support the application of genetic data to advance medical research, diagnosis and treatment while ensuring the privacy and security of individuals' genetic information.
Founded by leaders in the fields of pharmacogenetics, bioinformatics, and information systems technology, First Genetic Trust will provide genetic data handling and bioinformatics services to pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, and health care providers engaged in genetic research. The company also will be a leading on-line portal for genetic information, education and counseling services, to facilitate individuals' decision-making regarding the use of their private genetic information.
First Genetic Trust (www.firstgenetic.net) is headquartered in Chicago, and has its research and development facilities in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.
About Quintiles Transnational and PharmaBio Development
Quintiles Transnational is the world's leading provider of information, technology and services to bring new medicines to patients faster and improve healthcare. Headquartered near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Quintiles employs a global workforce and is a member of the S&P 500 and Fortune 1000. For more information visit the company's web site at www.quintiles.com.
PharmaBio Development, part of Quintiles Transnational, creates innovative partnering solutions to help life-science companies develop and market new products to improve human health.
Information in this press release contains "forward-looking statements" regarding Quintiles that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including without limitation, the risk that the market for our products and services will not grow as we expect, the risk that PharmaBio transactions will not generate return on investment, revenues or profit at the rate or levels we anticipate, our ability to efficiently distribute backlog among therapeutic business units and match demand to resources, actual operating performance, the ability to maintain large client contracts or to enter into new contracts, changes in trends in the pharmaceutical industry, and the ability to operate successfully in new lines of business. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are discussed in the company's recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to its Annual Report on Form 10-K, its Form 8-Ks, and its other periodic reports, including Form 10-Qs. Statements in this release regarding First Genetic Trust and Quintiles have been made by their respective company under that company's sole responsibility.