The new president of R&D solutions at QuintilesIMS said the combined company is better equipped at taking clients from clinical data to real-world evidence to improve patients’ health outcomes.

Richard Staub, the new president of research and development solutions at QuintilesIMS, said that one of the challenges that Quintiles faced before the merger with IMS was enrolling patients in clinical studies and bringing drugs to market at a timely fashion.

Now, as a combined company, he sees more potential to engage with drugmakers at the earliest points of their clinical development, like regulatory milestones, and through the commercialization strategy. Formerly the president of Novella Clinical, a Quintiles subsidiary, Staub is now charged with managing the QuintilesIMS’ entire R&D business, which includes providing clinical research services, from Phase-I to Phase-IV trials.

He has worked for contract research organizations for about 20 years. He joined Novella in 2004.

Quintiles and IMS Health announced in May that they planned to merge in a $9 billion deal. The  company generated a total of $7.2 billion in combined 2015 revenue. According to QuintilesIMS, the merger allows it to improve clinical-trial design by combining IMS Health’s global information solutions with Quintiles’ product development skills.

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“We now know what the referral patterns are that allow us to have a laser focus on how we identify those sites and drive enrollment,” said Staub. “The data allows us to get the right investigative sites, better inform how we do things like protocol design, design referral decisions, [and] identify where the right patient populations are because we can look at disease incidents much more accurately.”

A month after the merger closed, the company announced a number of executive changes, including Staub’s appointment and that of Paul Spreen, a former president of the customer solutions management group of Quintiles, as EVP and chief customer officer. It also said that Quintiles CEO Tom Pike would retire from the company. That announcement prompted Quintiles shares to drop nearly 10% as investors saw disruption risks, according to The News & Observer.

Using disease and treatment insights powered by IMS data, Staub said the combined company is better equipped at taking clients from clinical data to real-world evidence to improve patients’ health outcomes.

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“We’re able to use that data to help us design protocols more effectively, to help us find the right patients,” said Staub. “When we get into commercialization, that has been the bread and butter of IMS — to look at sales force effectiveness, market share data. It really is a total end-to-end solution for our customers.”

His advice to those getting into the healthcare industry is to stay curious, especially now that it is changing dramatically.

“Curiosity is very important — being curious about new therapies and how we’re treating patients,” said Staub. “When we crack the genetic code, we’re seeing the outcome of all that learning. We’re changing diseases to chronic disease as opposed to terminal disease, which is tremendous.”