Parexel steps up stroke study services

Biopharma services provider’s pact with SITS expands access to stroke-focused clinical sites

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BOSTON—Aiming to help its clients execute stroke-related studies more efficiently on a global basis, biopharmaceutical services provider Parexel International Corp. announced last month that it has established an alliance with Safe Implementation of Treatments in Stroke (SITS) International, the world's largest network of clinical sites with specialized capabilities in the area of stroke.

Partnering with SITS will give Parexel's clients access to more than 800 investigator and hospital-based sites located in 40 countries that conduct Phase II through IV stroke-related clinical studies and treat patients suffering from acute stroke. In return, Parexel will provide sponsors with a broad range of stroke-related program services. Financial terms of the partnership were not released.

With the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that 15 million people suffer from stroke worldwide each year, more and more biopharmaceutical companies are turning to Parexel for knowledge-based contract research, medical communications and consulting services for their stroke treatment programs, says Dr. Udo Kiessling, corporate vice president and worldwide head of medical affairs and clinical research services at Parexel.

"We are dedicated to providing clients with expanded capabilities in the area of stroke," Kiessling says. "SITS is an academic network experienced particularly with late-stage clinical trials, and by combining the strength of SITS with the drug development capabilities of Parexel, we are able to support our clients across the entire development cycle for stroke-related products."

The alliance is also representative of Parexel's objective of providing clients with expanded capabilities in the area of stroke, as well as a stated commitment to play a key role in the development of acute stroke medicines, Kiessling adds.

"A key goal of Parexel's collaboration with SITS is to help clients execute stroke-related studies more efficiently on a global basis, including through accelerated study start-up and patient recruitment," he says. "This is possible through the specialization of SITS in the stroke area and our central nervous system expertise, combined with the breadth and depth of Parexel's clinical development expertise and ability to manage complex programs on a worldwide scale.

"Parexel has entered into a number of successful alliances with academic medical centers, and we value the expertise and experience within academic medical centers," Kiessling continues. "In general, Parexel likes to supplement its in-house strengths with alliance partners. In the clinical research area specifically, we focus on partnering with effective sites, which include many outstanding academic medical centers. Additionally, our Phase I units are affiliated with hospitals, which have collaborations with academic medical centers."

An academic-driven international collaborative, SITS serves as a platform for stroke-related clinical research. The alliance with Parexel will give SITS a broad range of stroke-related program options, including clinical, post-marketing, safety studies and patient registries, says SITS Chairman Dr. Nils Wahlgren.

"In joining forces with Parexel, SITS looks forward to furthering the growing field of stroke research and speeding the introduction of important treatments to patients," Wahlgren says.  "We look forward to working with Parexel to implement stroke programs throughout our expanding network of sites." DDN

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