Jamie Macdonald, the CEO of Parexel, realized that he wanted to play a larger role in helping create new and better therapies for patients after he tragically lost both of his parents to cancer. He entered the clinical trials industry in an unusual way. After growing up in a rural area in the UK, he obtained his degree in economics at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and in 1994 became a chartered management accountant with Syntax, now acquired by Rosche. Jamie always had an interest in science and even though he pursued a role in finance, Syntax’s integrated development site operated preclinical and clinical studies, manufacturing, pharmaceutical sciences, and regulatory affairs all in the same area, allowing him to grasp an all-around understanding of the industry. Jamie transitioned into operations and project management of multiple phases of clinical trials, and held several senior leadership roles for Quintiles and INC Research before becoming CEO of Parexel.
Parexel is on the service side of the industry and provides organizations with clinical operations, real-world data solutions, medical and regulatory expertise and innovative clinical research tools. Their involvement with both first in-human and patient studies help prove the safety and efficacy of new therapies at a large enough scale to be statistically significant to support registration and market authorization. With over 20,000 experts around the globe, they are one of the world’s largest CROs.
Parexel entered the rare-disease space as a business opportunity and with an organizational motivation to help these underserved patients. Jamie notes that the drug development industry was designed for large disease populations and alienated those in the minority. Now, with the continuing progression of science and the drug discovery and development industry, personalized medicine is the future. A greater understanding of biology and genetics, paired with evolving technology, and infrastructure set in place by regulatory agencies, now allows organizations the opportunity to treat thousands of rare-disease patients over the next decade.
n-Lorem’s partnership with Parexel is vital for treating nano-rare patients. In 2022, n-Lorem, with support from Parexel, remarkably filed four investigational new drug (IND) applications, which have all been approved. Those personalized medicines will be administered to four patients that have hope for a better life.