• 4 November 2010
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"India, China, Japan are important"

—Josef von Rickenbach, Chairman & CEO, PAREXEL International Corporation, US

Parexel International Corporation is a leading global biopharmaceutical services organization, providing a broad range of knowledge-based contract research, consulting, and medical communications services to lifesciences industries. It is committed to providing solutions that expedite time-to-market and peak-market penetration.

Headquartered in the US, PAREXEL operates from 70 locations in 54 countries around the world, and has approximately 9,720 employees.

PAREXEL has recently opened a new office in Nagoya, Japan – it already has two offices one in Tokyo and another in Kobe – to support a growing demand for a broad range of clinical development and regulatory consulting capabilities in the Asia Pacific region.

Josef von Rickenbach, chairman of the board & CEO, PAREXEL was in Bangalore (India) and spoke to BioSpectrum about the market trends in CRO space and about the company’s Asia strategy. Excerpts from the interview:

Q How will the opening of another office in Japan support the growth of business in APAC?
Japan is attractive to our worldwide client base for inclusion in global studies, not only for its market potential but also for its high quality data, advanced technologies, and a large pool of well-trained professionals. The opening of our office in Nagoya builds on our established presence and long-term, ongoing commitment to Japan. It allows us to further assist locally-based clients with regional and global market access opportunities.

Our regulatory and clinical experts are supporting what we call ‘Japan plus Asia’ studies, since recent regulatory changes allow for inclusion of non-Japanese data for registration purposes.

We are also supporting Japan-based biopharmaceutical companies with simultaneous global clinical studies and provide eClinical solutions, to accelerate the clinical development process.

Q PAREXEL has witnessed a growth of 39 percent in Asia. How do you plan to maintain this and grow over it?
We have a strong presence in Asia Pacific. We might need to look at opening offices in countries where we already have operations. I could envision that we might need to look at strengthening our presence in India, due to its vast geography.

We have a very robust presence in China—with four offices—and also in Hong Kong and Taiwan. We wish to remain an entrepreneurial company, with focus on high quality services to clients, to avoid costly study delays and conduct quality clinical research, worldwide.

Q Looking ahead, how does Asia fit into your success story?
Asia is where the growth in CRO business is. And it is not a surprise in the changing global economy. Since 1995, with the opening of an office in Japan, with just one person, today, we are operating in all the countries in Asia. Currently, over 2000 people are working for Paraxel in the Asia Pacific region, largely from countries like India, China and Japan.

Q What kind of operations do you have in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines?
The markets in these countries are maturing and growing. To meet the needs of the customers, we need to be present in these fast emerging markets. Without going into the exact details, I can say, we provide local activities for clinical operations and global functions to the clients.

Q How do you see the competition in the market?
Everyone who is keen on working with biopharmaceutical and life sciences industry is our competitor. We take all compaanies, either small or big, local or global, who is keen on having a pie in the CRO industry, seriously and compete with them.

Q What are the growth projections for PAREXEL?
In the last few years, on an average we have witnessed about 10 percent growth. Some significant successes in the new business has helped the company to grow at double-digit even during the economic slowdown.

Narayan Kulkarni

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