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11/15/2006
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Drug Giant Eli Lilly Outsources Clinical Data to India

Tata Consultancy Services will provide Lilly with a range of services, including data management, statistical analysis, and medical writing from a new site near New Delhi dedicated to providing services for Lilly.

U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturing giant Eli Lilly and Co. has agreed to outsource a range of clinical data management services to India's Tata Consultancy Services, TCS said Wednesday.

TCS said the deal is a multiyear engagement of undisclosed value. Indian media reports pegged the deal's worth at about $35 million. A TCS spokesman said he was unable to confirm those reports or provide further details.

TCS will provide Lilly with a range of services, including data management, statistical analysis, and medical writing, TCS said in a statement. The functions will be performed at a new TCS site near New Delhi dedicated to providing services for Lilly. TCS maintains about 2,700 employees in its life sciences practice, which accounts for about 4% of the company's total sales.

Eli Lilly said the decision to outsource goes beyond cost cutting. "The goal of our relationship with TCS has several dimensions beyond reducing cost and risk, including gaining access to a global talent pool, increasing flexibility and scalability of our resources, and maintaining a global workflow that is operational 24 hours a day," said Dr. Steve Ruberg, group director for global medical information sciences at Eli Lilly, in a statement.

TCS's deal with Lilly is the latest indication that India's top outsourcers are poised to move well beyond the basic tech and business services for which they're mostly known. Other countries are also stepping up to attract high-level life sciences work. Last week, drug giant Novartis disclosed plans to build a $100 million research and development facility in China.

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