Parexel strikes multi-year deal with Palantir for clinical trial AI

Parexel has struck a multi-year deal with Palantir Technologies to integrate its artificial intelligence systems into Parexel’s clinical trial operations. The companies did not disclose the deal's financial terms. 

Palantir is a software behemoth co-founded by billionaire and “PayPal mafia don” Peter Thiel. While the deal with Parexel marks Palantir’s first foray into contract research organizations, the company’s technology is already seemingly everywhere else, from national defense systems, hospitals and telecommunications to anti-money laundering operations and retail.

"Palantir's Foundry and Artificial Intelligence Platform [AIP] are particularly suited to enhance and accelerate the delivery of safe and effective clinical trials and capable of doing so—at scale," Dan Ballard, senior vice president of digital enablement and innovation at Parexel, told Fierce Biotech CRO in an email. "Their platform technology provides an integrated digital environment capable of hyper-automating manual processes, promoting better data discoverability, and distilling insights from historical trials, all essential capabilities for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical trials and, importantly, helping us to help our customers deliver much needed safe and effective treatments to patients faster."  

He added that the company has been working with Palantir for the past year, which has "solidified [Parexel's] understanding of how the company's platform accelerates solutions" for the CRO and its clients. One senior medical director at Parexel noted that the software has saved six to seven hours per subject matter expert for each study design and has reduced the time to data delivery by 50%, Ballard said. 

"We've seen these platforms help in distilling insights from historical trials and streamlining coordination between scientific and operational teams and their partners, traditionally cumbersome and difficult to complete in a timely manner," he added. "This streamlined access to data and insights provides us a significant enhancement over the most manual and time-consuming processes previously deployed." 

The addition of AIP and Foundry into Parexel’s operations for clients will give sponsors faster, more thorough insights into trial performance, ideally shortening the time it takes to get their drugs to market, Parexel said in a press release. Ballard expects that the partnership will serve as a "proof point" for how AI can be responsbily adopted into trial operations, a trend that’s already well underway

“By setting new standards for efficiency, safety, and patient outcomes through the integration of AI and our data analysis platform, we have great confidence this collaboration will help us achieve more rapid development and delivery of treatments for patients," he said. "This collaboration underscores a shared commitment to innovation in drug development and clinical research and will serve as a proof point showing how clinical trials can be transformed across the biopharmaceutical industry with transparent and responsible use of AI."