Parexel launches China-focused service as local demand heats up

While drug developers have been outsourcing studies in China for years, the country's fast-growing local market has created a need for in-China, for-China services. That's why CRO giant Parexel ($PRXL) has launched Dĭng Huī, a Beijing-headquartered offshoot dedicated to helping clients get their therapies on the Chinese market.

As any multinational drugmaker can attest, the Chinese FDA requires local trials before it will approve a treatment, which often entails a complicated and time-consuming process for foreign firms, Parexel said. With Dĭng Huī, the CRO has brought together local experts who understand the nuances of China's regulatory, business and clinical environments, the company said, allowing clients to chart a quicker path to success.

The expanded offering follows Parexel's 2007 acquisition of China's Apex International Clinical Research, and the company has spread out across the country in the ensuing years, opening new operations in Shenyang, Chengdu, Guangzhou and other cities.

"Parexel Dĭng Huī reflects an evolution of our overall business model to address country-specific clinical development needs for clients who are seeking to launch products in China," COO Mark Goldberg said in a statement. "We believe this focused offering will deliver important benefits in terms of cost effectiveness and efficiency in a complex, rapidly growing market."

Parexel is hardly the first CRO to recognize that local expertise beats old-fashioned bravura when it comes to China. WuXi PharmaTech ($WX) has long touted itself as the go-to partner for Chinese development, and the company has teamed up to launch a joint venture with PRA to grow its local presence.

- read the statement

Special Report: Outsourcing in China: Big Pharma wants partners, not just contractors