Cerner, the US healthcare IT giant, has announced a partnership with Quintiles, the biopharmaceutical services firm specialising in clinical trials management and data services to life sciences companies.

The deal marks an important step for Cerner’s stated ambition to grow in the life-sciences and biopharma sectors.

The deal will see Cerner and Quintiles provide biopharma customers with research, technology and informatics services to help them more quickly evaluate the benefits and side effects of therapeutic treatments currently on the market.

The partnership will target the growing demand from regulators and payers for post-marketing research. Cerner will provide its Discovere Late Phase solution, a web-based platform that enables trials to use data from a participating patient’s electronic health records.

Such late phase research studies are vital to scrutinise long-term product safety, explore expanded indications for use, and strengthen the understanding of a product’s short-term and long-term value.

“Through Quintiles’ collaboration with Cerner, we now can offer biopharmaceutical organisations an integrated solution for conducting patient registries, post-approval and late phase studies, observational studies, and studies to support Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies,” said Dr Dipti Amin, Quintiles senior vice president of drug safety and medical affairs.

To help cost-effectively manage the data associated with this research, Quintiles will use Cerner’s Discovere Late Phase web study management solution.

Cerner say the web-based platform will allow biopharma researchers to gain a clearer picture of how a product is performing in the real world by easily integrating data from consenting study participants and site researchers.

The system also offers the potential to accelerate study start up and implementation through more efficient data collection workflow, including the ability to pre-populate electronic case report forms. Data quality is also improved by reducing transcription errors.

“Cerner’s long-standing expertise in automating processes for healthcare organizations makes us uniquely suited to help Quintiles efficiently manage the vast amounts of data associated with late phase research,” said Mark Hoffman, Cerner’s vice president of LifeSciences.

Cerner says the Discovere Late Phase solution streamlines study build. Once research participants are consented and enrolled in a study, site research personnel enter data directly into the online form or review the data relevant to research that has been electronically populated from a participant’s EHR.

Amin added: “This agreement, together with our world-class medical and scientific experts who offer unique insights to speed up decision making in drug development, demonstrates our strategic commitment to maximizing value with late phase research.”