Parexel International is the latest contract research organisation (CRO) to step up its involvement in biomarkers, announcing an alliance with UK-based specialist Proteome Sciences to enhance Parexel’s biomarker capabilities for early-phase clinical development.

CRO interest in biomarkers has been sharpened by the trend towards personalised medicine and the need to optimise efficiency in early-stage drug development. Parexel will use Proteome Sciences’ PS Biomarker Services protein and peptide biomarker capabilities to assist biopharmaceutical companies in making earlier assessments of new compounds in development.

Proteome Sciences will support Parexel early-phase experts as they help biopharmaceutical companies to advance biomarker discovery and qualification in clinical trials. This means Parexel can now offer its customers mass spectrometric and pharmacokinetic assays for protein and peptide compounds, noted the US-based CRO.

Parexel’s early-phase offering includes working with alliance partners to help companies select and interpret the right biomarkers; access to key biomarkers in major disease categories such as oncology, haematology, neurology, cardiology, infectious diseases, endocrinology, respiratory diseases, gastroenterology, urology and immunology; and fully validated analytical methods, including cellular and soluble biomarker analysis capabilities as well as bioanalytical services for qualitative and quantitative drug, metabolite and biomarker analysis.

The alliance with Proteome Sciences “reinforces our commitment to provide customers with significant expertise to help them select relevant biomarkers for their development programmes, interpret results, and determine implications for their therapies”, said Michelle Middle, Parexel’s corporate vice president and worldwide head of Early Phase.

Demand for specialist services in this area is likely to intensify in line with “the current regulatory requirements for biomarkers in drug development and diagnostics, coupled with the need for fast, flexible and cost-effective workflows”, added Christopher Pearce, chief executive of Proteome Biosciences.

Based in Cobham, UK with facilities in London and Frankfurt, Germany, Proteome Sciences provides outsourced Proteomics services and proprietary biomarkers to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics companies.