Parexel aims for R&D excellence with Microsoft tie-up

This comes after Parexel was bought out for $5 billion by Pamplona Capital.

Major CRO Parexel has teamed up with tech giant Microsoft to create a new cloud technology alliance aimed at speeding up drug research.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the pair said they are hoping to “drive digital transformation” of biopharma through the pact, which will combine Parexel’s drug development work with Microsoft’s cloud computing tech Azure.

The partnership will initially focus on moving Parexel Informatics technology and services onto Microsoft Azure, with the two also working on what they deem “patient-centric technologies” and cloud-based services to support clinical research and market access for the CRO’s life science clients.

But this does not mean the end of Informatics as a unit. Xavier Flinois, president of Parexel Informatics, tells FierceCRO: "As part of this partnership, Microsoft and PAREXEL are aligning across multiple streams, from research to development, to engineering and client management. However, Parexel Informatics will still operate as it has been, as a business unit of [the company]."

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“Specifically, the companies aim to develop solutions to enhance patient engagement and make participation in clinical trials more accessible,” the CRO and tech companies say. The pact will also seek to “help the industry deliver on the promise of precision medicine,” although exact details were not shared.

Xavier Flinois, president of Parexel Informatics said: “Drug development is becoming more complex, while innovations including social media, analytics, mobile technology and the Internet of Things are enabling a more patient-centric approach. In combination, Microsoft’s leading innovations and commitment to security and regulatory compliance, along with Parexel’s industry expertise, will allow us to bring accelerated drug delivery timelines and improved patient engagement to the industry.”

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Peggy Johnson, EVP and business development at Microsoft, added: “By combining the global scale and intelligent capabilities of Microsoft Azure with Parexel’s biopharmaceutical expertise, together we will help life science companies to accelerate the drug-development and commercialization process, all built on a foundation of trust, security and compliance with the Microsoft Cloud.”