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Medco, Sanofi Partner on PGx, Comparative Effectiveness

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Medco Health Solutions announced on Wednesday that it, its wholly owned subsidiary United BioSource, and Sanofi have entered into a global, multi-year agreement to improve patient care in real-world settings.

The partnership will leverage several capabilities, including personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics, health economics, and safety research, as well as clinical/adherence support.

The goal of the collaboration is to enable drug manufacturer Sanofi to precisely identify patient populations with the greatest unmet medical needs. They also will attempt to determine those populations "in which drugs are most effective; generate real-world comparative effectiveness data to support product value that meets stakeholder evidence requirements; and facilitate the development and implementation of novel care models to improve practice of care, adherence, and patient outcomes," Medco said in a statement.

Specific details about the pharmacogenomics component of the agreement were not available, but in an e-mail to GenomeWeb Daily News, a spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical benefits management firm said new drugs from Sanofi resulting from the deal are expected to have companion diagnostics, and "pharmacogenomics will be part of comparative effective research."

A spokeswoman for United BioSource added that a personalized medicine approach would be used "particularly in the area of identifying participants for clinical trials and designing and implementing clinical trials."

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Robert Epstein, Medco's clinical R&D officer, said in the statement that one problem with new product development is that products may look promising in early research, but flop in real-world practice. "This partnership will use real-world evidence to develop products that demonstrate value in real-world settings, enabling Sanofi to support high-quality, cost-effective care," he said.

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