iGate initiates life sciences unit with two acquisitions

Wednesday, 28 May 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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PITTSBURGH: iGate Corporation (Nasdaq:IGTE) Wednesday announced its entry into the offshore clinical research outsourcing market with the acquisition of PCRN, a Pittsburgh-based organization created by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to manage clinical trials.

Upon acquisition by iGate, PCRN was renamed iGate Clinical Research International (ICRI).

Through its experience participating in over 145 clinical trials since the late 1990s for major U.S. and European pharmaceutical giants including Eli Lilly, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, ICRI has built a strong reputation. UPMC, which retained a 10% ownership in ICRI, remains a key partner to ICRI and brings strong academic and research credentials to this organization.

To complement ICRI's delivery capability, iGate also recently signed a binding agreement to acquire DiagnoSearch, a Mumbai, India-based clinical research outsourcing company. DiagnoSearch brings seven years of experience conducting clinical trials at multiple medical sites throughout India, managing a growing number of patients and offering its clients high-quality results by adhering to internationally recognized quality standards. DiagnoSearch's focus on quality, innovation and customer responsiveness has enabled it to build strong credibility with large multinational firms such as Pfizer and Eli Lilly. DiagnoSearch also benefits from excellent management through its Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Vasudeo Ginde, who was trained and worked for five years at Eli Lilly, India, and was responsible for clinical development and clinical research management.

"I believe these acquisitions represent significant growth potential for iGate as we benefit from a first-mover advantage in this new but rapidly growing business area. This new service line is consistent with our strategy to broaden our range of services within the offshore outsourcing market. We have long recognized the benefits of offshore outsourcing and believe we can leverage our expertise to successfully develop service platforms in non-IT related areas. We intend to continue to tap the global talent pool and to leverage the cost benefits provided by countries such as India and China to create value for iGate," said Sunil Wadhwani, iGate's Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

"Both ICRI and DiagnoSearch are headed by business leaders with hands-on experience in clinical research. This deep management expertise and ICRI's strong front-end operation and expertise in managing multiple clinical trials coupled with DiagnoSearch's Indian established back-end delivery capability and data management expertise combines the best of both worlds," said Ashok Trivedi, iGate's Co-Founder and President.

Commenting on this acquisition, Peter Small, President of ICRI, said, "With over 8,000 drugs in the discovery pipelines and pharmaceutical companies' growing need to receive rapid feedback on safety and effectiveness of new drug candidates, we are confident that the offshore-based outsourcing approach will be well received by our clients."

Dr. Ginde added, "We are very excited about the opportunity to join forces with a U.S. clinical research company and to help ICRI and its clients leverage the offshore value proposition."

The DiagnoSearch transaction is expected to close upon final Indian regulatory approval within the next several weeks.
Source: IANS
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