IPOs by Facebook and Manchester United notwithstanding, there are other ways to tap deep pockets, such as getting acquired.
At $25.5 billion in net revenues for 2011, Accenture is by far the bigger company. But Octagon has grown quickly in recent years and currently has a global workforce of 380 people, most of which work in the Philadelphia area. It also has offices in Mountain View, Calif.; London; and Bangalore, India.
David Boath, the North American managing director for Accenture's Life Sciences industry group, said that Accenture had worked with Octagon for the last five years with several clients. "We think they have the best software to speed up the process of getting clinical data" to the Food and Drug Administration, he said.
Accenture, a consulting firm, got into the clinical data outsourcing business in 2003 when it was hired by Wyeth. In Octagon, the publicly traded company gains "a software suite we did not have before," Boath said.
Being part of a larger organization with a stronger balance sheet should enable Octagon to handle more large pharmaceutical clients, Boath said.