Clinical research organization (CRO) Parexel and trial tech provider Veeva Systems have announced a collaboration aimed at generating ways to accelerate clinical research through the application of technological advancement and process innovation.
According to the companies, part of the partnership will involve Parexel standardizing on Veeva’s suite of clinical operations applications, including Vault eTMF, Vault CTMS, and Vault Study Startup to streamline operations. Vault CDMS for clinical data management will also become a standard offering available from Parexel to its customers.
Outsourcing-Pharma recently discussed the goals of the partnership with two leaders from the companies:
- Jim Reilly, vice president for Vault R&D at Veeva Systems
- Helen Lingard, vice president of corporate strategy for Parexel
OSP: The clinical research industry has seen several partnerships and collaborations between technology and life sciences companies. In general, why is collaboration a good idea, and how does it benefit clinical research professionals, pharmaceutical companies, and tech providers?
JR: Collaboration across the industry is necessary to drive clinical research forward and accelerate drug delivery to patients. In the case of Parexel and Veeva, we’re working together to advance study technology and processes; for example, our joint efforts to enable decentralized approaches in clinical trials to help alleviate the administrative burden on sites and allow them to spend more time on patient care.
Through the partnership, Veeva will gain insights from Parexel’s clinical experts–who work closely with sponsors and research sites on executing trials–to continuously improve our cloud solutions. Parexel will use Veeva Vault Clinical Operations Suite to evolve its clinical processes and help transform how studies are run. That is a win-win for both companies and the industry.
HL: Strategic partnerships leverage the best of people, processes, and technology from both organizations to meet customer and patient needs. Combining Parexel’s talent and inbuilt process workflow with Veeva’s best-in-class technology strengthens what we can accomplish together. In addition, the Veeva Vault platform provides connectivity among clinical research professionals, pharma companies, and the CRO to simplify and streamline collaboration.
Veeva Vault Clinical Operations Suite will help us build trust with our customers and sites by enabling data sharing directly with partners. Customers and sites gain direct access to browse trial status, review reports, and collaborate directly in documents—enabling a whole new level of transparency.
OSP: Could you please tell us about the type of expertise and resources each company brings to the table in this collaboration?
HL: Parexel’s goal is to bring customer insights that can accelerate innovation in support of sites and patients. Key areas of focus include decentralized clinical trial (DCT) strategies, risk-based quality management (RBQM), and support for community-based sites. Our partnership ultimately makes it easier for companies and sites to work with both of us, creating benefits for our internal colleagues and externally for our customers, sites, and patients.
JR: We’re bringing together collective experience from thousands of clinical trials for the benefit of the industry. The collaboration pairs industry know-how and frontline experience with digital solutions that, together, will streamline trial processes and speed execution.
OSP: You mention that as part of the collaboration, both companies will have an early look and input into new and in-process technologies/products. How will that inform the development of the solutions you’re working on?
JR: Parexel is working closely with both sponsors and sites to run trials across therapeutic areas. They know from experience the challenges researchers face every day like patient recruitment, consenting, and what sponsors expect when they outsource trials. Those insights will inform our product team as we look to build technology that makes trials faster and more cost-effective.
HL: To that end, Parexel will assign process subject matter experts (SMEs) to help provide input to the Veeva product suite. We will also gain additional insight into Veeva’s future product roadmap and help improve current and future products through close collaboration.
OSP: Veeva CEO Peter Gassner commented that the collaboration is expected to accelerate research and new product launches—could you expand upon that aim?
HL: Veeva clinical solutions will enable Parexel, clinical research professionals, and pharmaceutical companies to work more efficiently and effectively, in turn delivering high-quality studies faster. The collaboration ultimately will drive quicker regulatory approval and patient availability.
JR: Clinical transformation accelerated during COVID-19 to speed the development of treatments and vaccines. Despite the herculean efforts to get there, the industry recognizes that more work remains to modernize clinical systems. By working together, we can identify pain points in the clinical trial process and develop solutions to solve them.
If we can streamline a process like patient consenting that today is manual, paper-based, and reliant on in-person patient visits, then we can significantly speed studies. This collaboration gets us a step closer to that outcome.