US-based biopharmaceutical services provider Parexel International has formed a strategic partnership with Eli Lilly, under which Parexel will support Lilly in getting clinical studies off the ground and monitoring trial sites throughout the Asia Pacific region.

By acting as the company’s strategic functional service provider for the region, Parexel will enable Lilly to allocate studies and apply the necessary resources more effectively to meet patient and portfolio needs, it said.

Accessing Parexel’s talent and experience with trial start-ups and site monitoring in Asia and Australia will also allow Lilly to concentrate on its relationships with investigators and regulators, while increasing its flexibility, productivity and efficiency, Parexel explained.

“We are constantly evaluating how we can increase our flexibility and focus internal efforts on our core capabilities,” commented Jeff Kasher, Lilly’s vice president of global clinical development.

The Asia Pacific region comprises some of the world’s fastest growing pharmaceutical markets, noted Josef von Rickenbach, chairman and chief executive officer of Parexel International. The company has developed “extensive” local expert resources and capabilities, together with in-depth knowledge on conducting high-quality clinical trials in Asia Pacific countries.

Parexel says it has “transformed” its business to deliver a “new level” of strategic partnering, including functional service provider relationships and based on programme design expertise, operational excellence and project leadership. The aim is to help biopharmaceutical clients reduce fixed costs, shorten development times and accelerate the delivery of safe and effective treatments to market.

No financial or other details of the strategic partnership between Parexel and Lilly were disclosed. In June, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced three-year agreements with Parexel and another drug development services provider, ICON, for “joint strategic, operational and capability support of the company’s clinical development programme”.