Parexel has linked arms with Synchron to cement itself in India for the first time - joining the growing number of contract research organisations (CRO) that are being lured to the region through the promise of cost savings.
The US-based firm has now entered into a joint venture with Bangalore-based Synchron Research Services, after having collaborated with the Indian firm since 2004.
Parexel now owns a majority stake in a newly formed entity called Parexel International Synchron Private Limited into which Synchron has now transferred its existing clinical trial business operations.
Parexel also acquired a minority equity interest in the 86-bed clinical-pharmacology business of Synchron in Ahmedabad, India.
"As demand for clinical research services in India continues to increase, we decided to expand our collaboration with Synchron," said Josef von Rickenbach, chairman and CEO of Parexel.
The purchase will enhance Parexel's presence in the fast growing Indian market, enabling it to provide Phase I-IV clinical research services, including quality assurance, statistical analysis and data management, at a fraction of the cost than in the West.
With the average cost per patient of running a US-based clinical trial being $5404 (€4244) for Phase I, $6538 for Phase II and $7635 for Phase III, pharma companies are flocking towards low-cost destinations such as India in a bid to cut direct clinical trial costs.
In 2005, contract research in India was valued at $100-120m and growing at a rate of 20-25 per cent each year. India now holds nearly double the business of its nearest rival, Italy, with a market value of $60-70m.
Parexel is one of over 15 prominent CROs and ten large multinational pharma companies who are now operating in the country.