Parexel angling to dominate Phase I arena

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Clinical trial, Parexel

Paraxel has acquired a $65m (€52m) US business that will inflate
its early phase capacity enough to make it one of the largest
providers of Phase I services in the world and help "return its US
operations to profitability".

The contract research organisation (CRO) has bought California Clinical Trials Medical Group (CCT) and Behavioral and Medical Research (BMR), based in California, which provides a range of specialty Phase I-IV research services through four clinical sites.

The major value of the deal for Parexel is that it adds 51 Phase I beds - a 35-bed unit located on the campus of the Glendale Adventist Medical Center, combined with an additional 16 beds that are currently under construction at another location - to the company's Phase I armoury.

"The acquisition expands the company's Clinical Pharmacology capacity to over 400 beds, making Parexel one of the largest providers of Phase I services in the world,"​ said Josef von Rickenbach, chairman and CEO of Parexel.

Early phase clinical trial services are a strong growth area in the US and globally as they continue to be one of the biggest bottlenecks in the development of new drugs.

There have been a number of small start up CROs in the field this year and parexel's larger rival Covance has also been beefing up its Phase I capacity, buying eight early-phase clinical development sites in the US from Radiant Research in May.

Like Parexel, these acquisitions also gave Covance a significant expansion of clinical pharmacology bed capacity, bringing the firm's global Phase I/IIa clinical research capacity to more than 500 beds across eleven sites, and broadening its access to special patient populations for Phase Ib/IIa clinical studies.

Meanwhile, in addition to early Phase capacity, Parexel said it will now also benefit from the new experience in central nervous system clinical trials and neuroscience drug development services that CCT and BMR will bring, as well as its activities involving Japanese bridging studies.

Furthermore, the acquired business also has expertise in the area of sleep disorders, which will complement to the sleep studies Parexel currently offers, the firm said.

Looking ahead, von Rickenbach expressed high expectations for the affect of the purchase on the business: "The revenue and profits the acquisition will bring will help to accelerate a return to profitability in Parexel's US operations,"​ he said.

Related topics: Clinical Development, Phase I-II

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