300 years of genomics experience?! Parexel sets up ex GSK staff gene team

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

300 years of genomics experience?! Parexel sets up ex GSK staff gene team

Related tags: Clinical trial, Research triangle park

Parexel has set up a team of ex-GSK genomics experts in response to growing sponsor demand for “precision medicine” development knowhow.

The contract research organisation (CRO) announced its ‘genomic medicine’ team today. It said the aim is to provide genomic research services to accelerate drug development and to support regulatory and payer approval processes.

The 15-strong team of scientists has “an aggregate of nearly 300 years of combined experience in genomics​” according to Parexel, all of whom were employed by GlaxoSmithKline’s genetics and computational biology departments.

Sy Pretorius, Parexel CSO, said “recently, the terms ‘precision medicine’ and ‘personalised medicine’ have become household terms, and genomic research is the key to developing targeted therapies.

By applying innovative and state-of-the-art methodologies, we work with our clients to understand how genes impact an individual’s response to treatment – and why people who receive the same treatment may respond differently​.”

GSK

A Parexel spokeswoman told us the 15 genomics experts were among the 450 GSK employees the CRO hired in December 2014​. 

The team will be based at Parexel's site in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, US.

The spokeswoman added that the genomics team will focus on researching the genomic basis for diseases, on stratifying patients in clinical trial design and supporting the design and development of companion diagnostics for personalised medicines.

Not all of the GSK staff hired are still at Parexel. In August last year the US CRO said it would lay off as many as 125 of the 450 employees according to a North Carolina WARN report​.

Back in 2010, GSK selected Parexel as its strategic partner​, along with competitor PPD.

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