UCB has announced worldwide strategic partnerships for clinical trials with Parexel International and PRA International whereby the US-based contract research organisations will “essentially become integrated members of our study teams”, the Belgian company said.

The partnerships for operational clinical development apply to all of UCB’s new clinical study programmes on a global basis. They are expected to boost productivity and improve both efficiency and cost-effectiveness, while creating new opportunities for innovation and collaboration. No financial details of the arrangements were released.

Iris Loew-Friedrich, executive vice president and chief medical officer at UCB, said the partnerships reflected the company’s strategy of expanding its global drug development activities, including those in Asia. They were “long-term, win-win commitments to an outsourcing model focused on maximising the effectiveness of each participant’s resources in clinical operations”, Loew-Friedrich added.

From Parexel, UCB will get the benefits of proven clinical processes through all phases of drug development, supported by a market-leading eClinical technology platform, noted chief executive officer (CEO) Josef von Rickenbach. UCB will also be able to leverage Parexel’s consulting expertise in regulatory affairs and commercialisation, he pointed out.

Colin Shannon, CEO of PRA International, cited that company’s medical expertise, including significant experience in CNS indications (one of UCB’s primary areas of focus), as well as its full suite of services for clinical studies across all phases and therapeutic areas.

“With eClinical solutions, advanced technological tools and finely tuned systems, we can achieve seamless delivery and operational transparency throughout our organisation,” Shannon commented.