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Parexel joins cloud-based community of life science companies

By Zachary Brennan , 13-Mar-2014

Cloud-based community provider Exostar has selected Parexel as the latest CRO to become a member of its life science community, which aims to reduce the cost and burdens of collaborations between companies.

The Exostar Life Sciences Identity Hub aims to reduce the cost and resource burdens of collaborating with external partners through a connect-once architecture for systems and applications.

Alan Gilbert, a spokesman for Exostar, told Outsourcing-pharma.com the hub is a cloud-based solution that has been “generally available” for just over a year.  The hub was born as the life sciences industry is in the midst of a business model transformation from manufacturers “doing everything in the R&D process in-house to relying on external partners to speed the process,” he added

The hub initially “worked closely with Merck,” which became “the partner of choice for CROs” and other investigators, Gilbert said. “Once we had proven the solution worked for Merck, its employees, and a select group of Merck partners, we moved forward with offering the solution to the public,” he said.

AstraZeneca later “followed suit,” and Merck and AZ “have been very upbeat about how our solution…allows them to rapidly engage new partners and collaborate with individuals seamlessly and securely.  CROs like Parexel and Charles River, who we announced a couple of weeks ago, see the value in terms of being able to more effectively and efficiently execute their missions of supporting manufacturers like Merck and AZ,” Gilbert added.

Organizations like Parexel retain administrative responsibility for their assets, including identifying valid users and their permissions and privileges. Exostar's Secure Access Manager (SAM) provides the identity and access management functionality to ensure intellectual property and sensitive data are protected at all times.

Parexel is further raising its employees' efficiencies through SAM's Enterprise Access Gateway (EAG) feature, which allows individuals use their existing credentials to access the partner applications to which they are entitled.

All parties benefit from the connect-once, collect-once, certify-once Exostar operating environment.  What this means is that rather than all parties having to establish communications infrastructures with one another (creating a full mesh of point-to-point connections), they connect one time to the Life Sciences Identity Hub, and then have access to the information they need to identify who should have access to their own applications and data, as well as access to the applications and data of their external partners,” Gilbert explained. 

The community today boasts over 500 organizations and 10,000 individuals. And other CROs “are lining up to join, as you will see in the coming weeks,” Gilbert added.

By connecting to the hub, CROs will have the opportunity “to immediately engage with their other customers and prospects who are or will be connected, as well as dive deeper with their current customers.  In other words, they have a competitive advantage, because they already are part of the community, and their personnel can access new applications as they are added to the community through new Identity Hub connections.” 

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