We are a leading global contract research organization providing drug discovery and development services. Our clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. Our corporate mission is to help clients and partners maximize returns on their research and development investments and accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics to patients.
We have been in the drug development business for more than 24 years. Our development services include preclinical programs and Phase I through Phase IV clinical development services, as well as bioanalytical, cGMP, global central laboratory and vaccines and biologics laboratory services. We have extensive clinical trial experience, including regional, national and global studies across a wide spectrum of therapeutic areas and in 102 countries spanning six continents. In addition, for marketed drugs, biologics and devices, we offer support such as product launch services, medical information, patient compliance programs, patient and disease registry programs, product safety and pharmacovigilance, Phase IV monitored studies and prescription-to-over-the-counter, or Rx to OTC, programs.
With 85 offices in 40 countries and more than 10,500 employees worldwide, we have provided services to 49 of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies in the world as ranked by 2008 healthcare research and development spending. We also work with leading biotechnology companies and government organizations that sponsor clinical research. We are one of the world’s largest providers of drug development services based on 2009 annual net revenue generated from contract research organizations.
Building on our outsourcing relationship with pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, we established our Discovery Sciences business in 1997. This business primarily focuses on compound development and commercialization collaborations. We have developed a risk-sharing research and development model to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients develop compounds. Through collaborative arrangements based on this model, we assist our clients by sharing the risks and potential rewards of the development and commercialization of drugs at various stages of development. Discovery Sciences will continue to be included in the Company’s business model until the expected spin-off of our compound partnering business is completed.
Our integrated drug discovery and development services offer our clients a way to identify and develop drug candidates more quickly and cost-effectively. In addition, with global infrastructure, we are able to accommodate the multinational drug discovery and development needs of our clients.
Discovering and developing new drugs is an extremely expensive, complex, high-risk and time-consuming process. Multiple industry sources estimate the fully capitalized cost of developing and commercializing a new pharmaceutical product ranges from $800 million to over $1 billion. In addition, it generally takes between 10 and 15 years to develop a new prescription drug and obtain approval to market it in the United States.
The drug development services industry provides independent product development services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology companies, and government organizations. This industry has evolved from providing limited clinical trial services in the 1970s to a full-service industry today characterized by broader relationships with clients and by service offerings that encompass the entire drug development process, including preclinical evaluations, study design, clinical trial management, data collection, biostatistical analyses, regulatory consulting, clinical laboratory and diagnostic services, pre- and post-approval safety analysis, product registration and post-approval support.
Over the past 24 years, technological advances, as well as the emergence of the biotechnology industry, have dramatically changed the drug discovery process. New and improved technologies have evolved such as ultra high-throughput screening, new in vitro and in vivo preclinical profiling techniques and the gene-based drug research commonly referred to as genomics. The objective of these innovations is to find more drug targets and to screen chemical compounds against targets much more quickly, with literally millions of compounds possible. This process is expected to produce many more molecules having the ability to affect biological activity. These molecules then need to be tested quickly and economically to determine their viability as potentially safe and effective drug candidates.