The alliance will initially focus on moving Parexel Informatics technology and services onto Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, the migration to which has already begun.
“The alliance with Microsoft is completely transformational for Parexel Informatics, and Parexel as a whole,” Xavier Flinois, president at Parexel Informatics told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.
“Through this collaboration, Parexel Informatics can deliver a suite of the most advanced technologies in security, analytics, and mobile – all fully integrated in a global cloud. It is only with this type of innovation that we can aim to drive the digital transformation of drug development.”
Filinois said that the process of building new cloud-based applications is also underway.
“Microsoft and Parexel will jointly aim to develop innovative, patient-centric technologies and cloud-based services to support clinical research and market access for global life sciences clients,” he explained.
Forming a cloud technology alliance
As Microsoft thought about expanding into the life sciences market, partnering with Parexel was “a natural choice,” said Neil Jordan, general manager, Worldwide Health Industry at Microsoft.
“We believe technologies like cloud, AI, and in the future quantum computing, will help shepherd the necessary industry transformation so that all patient touchpoints – from clinical trialing to treatment – become more people-centric than ever before,” he told us.
“Improving the health and life sciences industries is one of the most pressing challenges our society and economy faces,” Jordan added.
According to Filinois, the Parexel/Microsoft alliance represents the first enterprise-wide cloud adoption in the life sciences industry. “As a global company, it is critical that we engage with technology partners that work in the markets we serve clients every day, and that have a strong commitment to security and regulatory compliance,” he said.
Transforming drug development
The drug development process continues to become more complex, and according to estimates, takes approximately 10 to 15 years at an average cost of $2.6bn.
“As a result, there is a shift toward digital transformation to increase speed and efficiency,” said Filinois, noting that “It has long been recognized that there is a need for efficiency and innovation in the drug development process.”
However, industry transformation will require collaboration across technology, research, providers and others, said Jordan – and necessitates a patient-centric approach, Filinois explained, as patients continue to take a more active role in their healthcare.
“In addition, the promise of personalized healthcare – held in high regard as the next wave of healthcare – requires tight collaborations across the technology and biopharma communities,” added Filinois. “We believe that with Microsoft’s cloud-computing capabilities we will bring next-generation cloud solutions to help transform the life sciences industry.”