Analysts Worry About Pharma Outsourcing

Analysts are criticising CROs on the downside of the strategic relationships being put in place with big pharmaceutical companies, reports

Icon is cutting its 2011 financial guidance as it has to make large investments due to an outsourcing deal it has with Pfizer. Pfizer is currently outsourcing vast amounts of its research because of the cuts to their research budgets, and so companies such as Icon and Parexel are becoming the main suppliers of Pfizer’s research, something worrying analysts. Eric Caldwell noted in a story for Outsourcing Pharma that Icon will face “additional challenges ahead and we’ve taken a sharp pencil to our forward estimates.”

Icon is committed to the deal with Pfizer, however, taking on as many as 800 new staff in order to ensure there is enough manpower to do the research. Icon CEO Peter Gray believes “the major achievement of the quarter was [the] selection by Pfizer” as a clinical development partner. Gray went on to add that Icon is increasing hiring and expects to increase costs over the next two quarters as his company gears up to take on the work given by Pfizer.

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