With a growing trend towards strategic and functional outsourcing in clinical research, it is not surprising that service providers are taking a hard look at where and how to position themselves in a marketplace buffeted by recession.

Quintiles made a notable statement of intent early this year when it unveiled a new brand identity to address the challenges of “the New Health”. Now two other US-based providers, Parexel International and MPI Research, have overhauled their branding in line with the changing needs of their clients.

Parexel is going out under the banner “Right Where you Need Us”, a slogan that the company says “reinforces its commitment to precisely complement client organisations with strategic insight, deep scientific knowledge, tactical expertise, and a wealth of experience throughout the end-to-end product development process”.

To inform its new brand identity, Parexel interviewed 145 decision makers from top pharmaceutical companies and small to medium-sized biopharmaceutical companies that engage service providers for a broad range of clinical research functions, regulatory affairs, medical communications and other needs, the CRO noted.

“Biopharmaceutical companies continue to face increasingly complex decision-making amidst more stringent regulatory structures, evolving science, and growing competitive challenges,” commented Josef von Rickenbach, chairman and chief executive officer of Parexel International. “Parexel continues to transform our business to provide an even more precise fit with our expertise.”

The company has also re-launched its website to help biopharmaceutical companies find “the right experts in the right geographical locations worldwide for any aspect or phase of designing and executing regional and global clinical development programmes”.

MPI Research, which bills itself as “the largest single-site preclinical contract research organisation in the world”, has rebranded as “Your Responsive CRO”, following a year of internal and external research “that yielded clear evidence of the company’s strengths and how these strengths fulfil industry values and expectations”.

Helped by Chicago-based advertising agency Abelson Taylor, “we have freshened our look and redefined our positioning in the marketplace”, explained William Parfet, chairman and chief executive officer of MPI Research.

“Sponsors have always told us that the caring, flexible and solution-focused employees of MPI Research stand out in the industry,” Parfet added. The new branding is designed to underline how these attributes, coupled with MPI’s scientific experience and expertise, “create significant value for our sponsors as we assist them in moving their drugs and medical devices forward”.