Accenture to expand lifescience consulting

Date: 18-03-2008
Source: The Economic Times

With global pharma companies waking up to technology outsourcing services as a tool to reduce the time to market of their R&D harvest, Accenture is looking at expanding the scope and scale of its lifescience centre of excellence in India. Accenture's lifescience R&D centre in Bangalore is its largest in the world and employs 2,500 people.

In the near term, consultancy and systems integration firm Accenture may double the number of employees in its R&D centre and also spread to more cities. While Bangalore is the hub of its R&D activity, Accenture's other centres include Chennai, Manila, Spain and Delaware. Talking to ET on future trends in pharma R&D outsourcing, Accenture partner (lifescience practise) Arjun Bedi said: "The next wave is in transformational outsourcing. Pharma companies can save costs by co-sourcing, outsourcing and off-shoring non-core R&D activities to IT and BPO companies. In the last three years, the market for pharma R&D outsourcing has seen a five-fold increase."

Pharma companies have been rather slow in R&D outsourcing because of concerns such as diverse portfolio applications, regulatory requirements, security and domain expertise, according to an internal Accenture study. Mr Bedi said, apart from adoption of new delivery models, pharma companies are also looking at innovations in pricing with transaction-based deals seeing a rising trend. "The revenue models in pharma R&D has changed. Today, the focus is on delivering business outcomes," Mr Bedi says.

From India, the company is developing assets such as the Knowledge Discovery Toolkit that will act like a sieve and integrate unstructured and structured content to help in finding out new indications for existing compounds and in indication hopping. Accenture is in a multi-year R&D pact with BMS for India-based clinical data and document management, pharmacovigilance and scientific writing functions.