Quintiles signs major deal with Biogen Idec

Quintiles has inked a partnership with biotechnology company Biogen Idec that one analyst estimates could eventually mean more than $100 million in revenue for the Durham-based pharmaceutical services giant.

Quintiles announced Thursday that it has signed a five-year strategic clinical development agreement with Biogen Idec, which is based in Cambridge, Mass., and has 1,200 employees in the Triangle.

The agreement calls for Quintiles to team up with Biogen on the “design, planning and execution” of the biotechnology company’s phase two through phase four clinical trials, as well as “select” phase one studies. Phase four studies are conducted after a drug has won regulatory approval; phase one through three involve experimental drugs.

“Quintiles continues to demonstrate clear momentum with large global clients,” analyst Eric Coldwell of Robert W. Baird & Co. wrote in a research note.

“As the relationship grows, we believe Biogen Idec will be a top 10, if not top 5, customer,” Coldwell said. “Quintile’s top 10 customers all contribute more than $100 million of revenue.”

Quintiles is the world's largest contract research organization, or CRO, helping pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies test experimental drugs and analyze the results. It also assists those companies with selling and marketing medicines after they receive regulatory approval.

The company has 28,200 workers worldwide and 2,300 in the Triangle.

Quintiles shares closed Thursday at $49.94, up 47 cents. The stock is up 8 percent this year.