Parexel expands its regulatory reach with latest move

Global CRO Parexel International ($PRXL) is looking to expand its regulatory consulting, launching a dedicated unit focused on the post-approval needs of drug and medical device developers.

The new operation falls under Parexel's consulting segment and pools together the CRO's existing regulatory offerings with some new services, the company said, incorporating Liquent, the software developer it bought for $72 million in 2012. And the demand for the new service line is clear, Vice President Rick Riegel said: Thanks to the global nature of the biopharma business, life sciences companies have to deal with byzantine regulatory bodies around the world, and Parexel bets its expertise can make the process easier to navigate.

"Regulatory outsourcing is growing increasingly important in the market, as more and more companies rely on outsourcing to help them with the complex task of managing their regulatory needs, especially the regulatory maintenance of their marketed products," Riegel said in a statement. "This service offering provides a unique solution that addresses new pressures felt by our clients, allowing them to become more efficient in the area of regulatory operations and affairs."

The effort comes on the heels of a major rebranding effort at Parexel, through which the CRO is looking to better entrench itself in the high-stakes competition between the largest players in an increasingly top-heavy market. The goal is to better establish Parexel's disparate offerings as a continuum of services, CEO Josef von Rickenbach has said, and the CRO retitled its banner eClinical business to bear the company's name.

Meanwhile, Parexel is back on the up-and-up after a quarterly slip in new business sent its share price reeling. Last quarter, the company grew revenue by 15% to $487.1 million and upped its net revenue 33% to $28.3 million.

- read the announcement