Responding to growing demand in contract research and development for flexible, tailored service relationships below the level of comprehensive strategic partnerships, Parexel International has launched a functional-services unit within its Clinical Research Services segment.

The US-based bio/pharmaceutical services organisation said it had created Parexel Functional Services, which will have a dedicated leadership team and resources, to “provide solutions for customers interested in outsourcing particular functions rather than full development programmes in the clinical development process”.

The new unit will offer clinical operations, data management, biostatistics and medical writing, among other services.

These services will be available through a range of engagement models, including insourcing/staffing, full functional outsourcing and customised solutions.

A functional sourcing arrangement in this context “may form the basis of a strategic partnership or may be part of a hybrid partnership model that includes both functional and programmatic outsourcing”, Parexel noted.

Need for flexibility

As Dr Mark Goldberg, the company’s president and chief operating officer, pointed out, clients are increasingly looking for flexibility when choosing an outsourcing model that aligns with their path to drug development.

“By creating this operating unit, we are taking a more proactive and focused approach to compete in the growing global Functional Services market,” Goldberg explained.

Of particular importance, he added, was the opportunity to strengthen relationships with clients of all sizes by providing a broader mix of full programmatic and functional outsourcing.

Efficient and cost-effective

Heading up Parexel Functional Services is Diego Glancszpigel, the company’s corporate vice president, Clinical Research Services.

Biopharmaceutical companies face the challenge of streamlining the drug-development process to deliver “the safest, highest quality products in the most efficient and cost-effective manner”, Glancszpigel commented.

Parexel’s depth and breadth of scientific expertise, along with its “extensive” global reach and low-cost locations, “will be leveraged across functions to add value to each engagement”, he said.