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Comprehensive custom services
May 2008
by Chris Anderson  |  Email the author


WALTHAM, Mass.óContinuing its push to becoming an end-to-end provider of products and services for the research market, PerkinElmer Inc. and French CRO Cerep SA announced last month a co-marketing deal that will allow each company to provide a continuum of customized services from assay development to target screening and profiling.

"This agreement with Cerep is a natural extension of the assay development service that we launched last fall," says Richard Eglen, president of Bio-discovery at Perkin Elmer. "That was driven by the interest from our customers to be a complete solution provider. It is something that has gone quite well for us and this arrangement with Cerep is the next step."

That step is one that provides PerkinElmer with a strong CRO partner whose services it can market alongside its custom assay development offering. Likewise, Cerepówhich has locations in France, the United States and Japanócan offer its customers not only leading screening and profiling, but can also offer PerkinElmer's assay development expertise to create a customized offering for each customer.

"Cerep is committed to providing the highest quality services in drug discovery and drug development," says Thierry Jean, chairman and CEO of Cerep in a statement announcing the deal. "This agreement with PerkinElmer enables us to support our customers' complete drug discovery needs, from assay design to target screening and profiling, by adding a range of enabling assay technologies to our drug screening and profiling services."

At the heart of the deal is the fast growing interest and markets for researchers whose work focuses on G protein-coupled receptors and kinases. PerkinElmer's intent is to widen the potential customers for a number of its assay development and detection platforms including AlphaLISA, LANCE and LANCE Ultra which are targeted at these research areas.

While Eglen points out that customers were asking PerkinElmer to provide an end-to-end solution, company officials didn't want to stray from its current position in the market. "Customers were asking if PerkinElmer could do the screening for them, but it is not a business that we were interested in getting into," Eglen says. "With Cerep, we add that capability and work with a company [with whom] many of our customers are familiar and comfortable."

In so doing, of course, PerkinElmer is not only getting business and exposure for is custom assay business, but also for the breadth of its supporting kits and reagents, as well as the opportunity to step up its level of customer support by providing the "triage" of the proposed screening.

"For example, if CEREP has a customer and want to do a conversion for an ELISA they can offer our assay development services around our AlphaLISA," Eglen says.

Marketing plans for the combined services were still in the works at press time, though plans are already in place for representatives of both companies to make joint presentations at a number of key accounts. Sales staffs at both companies are currently receiving training to bring them up to speed on the capabilities and products of each partner, though it is likely that, considering size and reach of its sales operation around the world, PerkinElmer could take the lead early on.

And while both companies can count many of the same customers, the co-marketing deal allows both to reach into areas of these companies where, perhaps, they were not as well-known.
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