US-based bio/pharmaceutical services organisation Parexel International is addressing the growing demand for new talent to underpin the rapid expansion of clinical research in Asia by setting up an academic programme in Singapore through an alliance with the island state’s national university.

The partnership is between PAREXEL Academy, which offers professional training and education courses in clinical research from its base in Berlin, Germany and the National University of Singapore Academy of GxP Excellence (NUSAGE).

The latter institution was set up in March 2008 at the instigation of executives from the Economic Development Board of Singapore, pharmacy professors at the National University of Singapore and senior executives from the pharmaceutical industry in Singapore and the US.    

NUSAGE offers career entry and advancement pathways for professionals, managers, executives and technicians with degrees in health and basic sciences, engineering or other relevant fields, equipping them with the specialised knowledge and advanced technical skills to meet evolving global regulatory standards, the new partners noted.

Increasing complexity

They said demand for clinical research talent in Asia was being driven by the increasing complexity and globalisation of biopharmaceutical research and development.

The Singapore location of the first Parexel Academy in Asia will give students access to “a significant business centre for the Asia/Pacific region”, while supporting regional growth in clinical development, commented Dr Albert Siu, vice president, learning and development for Parexel International.

 “These graduates will be empowered with the proper education to make a difference in the delivery of innovative new treatments to patients,” Siu added.


For companies looking to advance their interests in the rapidly emerging Asian biopharmaceutical sector, Singapore offers “a vantage point in Asia from which they can develop the requisite international and multidisciplinary talent to support their growth”, observed Kevin Lai, deputy director, biomedical sciences at the Singapore Economic Development Board.