Thermo Fisher Scientific and Eli Lilly have expanded their clinical trial materials supply chain relationship. The agreement focused on clinical trial materials manufacturing, packaging and labeling operations.

Thermo Fisher Scientific said that as part of a new five-year agreement, the Fisher Clinical Services business of the company will take over responsibility for Lilly’s in-house clinical trial materials manufacturing, packaging and labeling operations on-site at the Lilly Technology Center – North in Indianapolis. The transition is expected to be completed in the summer of 2010.

Additionally, by the end of 2010, Fisher Clinical Services is expected to handle the distribution of clinical trial materials for Lilly throughout North America. The agreement includes Fisher Clinical Services’ purchase of Lilly’s clinical trial manufacturing and packaging equipment.

Both the parties said that the relationship was expanded to support Lilly’s new operating model, which is designed to speed the delivery of innovative medicines to patients while helping Lilly to reduce some of its fixed costs. Lilly employees impacted by this expanded agreement and qualified individuals in the Indianapolis community will have the opportunity to apply for roles with Fisher Clinical Services.

Marc Casper, president and CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific, said: “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Lilly by embarking on this truly innovative collaboration in support of their clinical trials materials supply chain.

“This agreement offers both companies many opportunities for process improvement and technological innovation, all with the purpose of assuring that patients around the world receive their clinical trial medicines and supplies quickly and efficiently. We are also excited to have access to a highly skilled workforce in Indianapolis to enhance our highly regarded team of employees.”

Ralph Lipp, vice president of pharmaceutical sciences research and development at Lilly, said: “Lilly and Fisher Clinical Services have a two-decade history of working well together and we believe this expanded agreement is the best way to ensure that high quality clinical trial material is getting to clinical trial sites around the world as efficiently as possible, while also leveraging our FIPNet (fully integrated pharmaceutical network) strategy of collaboration in those areas that are not considered strategic or core for Lilly to own.

“Transitioning work like the manufacturing, packaging and labeling of clinical trial materials to Fisher Clinical Services helps us also reach Lilly’s corporate goals of reducing the costs of drug development and speeding innovative medicines to patients.”