Report: SAS hatches new "think tank" for life sciences, healthcare analytics

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SAS has begun to recruit fresh brains for a new "think tank" focused on serving the Cary, NC-based business analytics giant's healthcare and life sciences customers, The News & Observer reported today. The effort might help drug companies and other businesses navigate a time of major change in their businesses.

The new group, called the SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights, builds on the company's large business of proving business analytics to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, health insurers and healthcare providers. The think tank, which will be located at the firm's Cary headquarters, is hiring about 16 people and its director is one its previous life sciences bosses, Jason Burke, according to the newspaper report. Its plans are to work with healthcare customers on new uses of analytics.

It's no secret to some that the healthcare field-including drug developers, care providers and even insurers-is undergoing rapid change. For instance, large drug companies such as Pfizer ($PFE), Sanofi ($SNY) and several others have been rethinking the way they do business as the ground shakes beneath their old models of spending billions of dollars on research and development and relying on sales of major blockbuster products to sustain them. Those major players are now at various phases of testing new strategies. And SAS, which already has many large drugmakers as customers, might have a shot here with its new think tank to inject business intelligence into new aspects of the life sciences business that it may not have served before.

"Quite frankly, we're doing (the think tank) because our customers are asking for it," Kecia Serwin, vice president of health and life sciences at SAS, told The News & Observer. "The face of health care is fundamentally changing. For them to be viable and sustainable going forward, they are going to have to transform the way they do business."

- check out The News & Observer report

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