Responding to COVID-19: An Update from Parexel CEO Jamie Macdonald

Dear Valued Customers, Patients and Industry Partners:

Looking back on the past few months, it’s difficult to process the impact COVID-19 has had on our industry, our global colleagues, partners and patients. I continue to be impressed with the resilience and commitment of our industry and our colleagues at Parexel to continue delivering for patients. In many ways I believe that we as an industry are now better positioned to ensure patients get the therapies they need over the long term as a result of the changes and innovations accelerated over the recent months. 

Leading the fight against COVID-19

I’m proud to report Parexel has not only adapted to the global challenge presented by COVID-19 but we are leading in the response. Today, our colleagues worldwide are contributing to more than 90 COVID-19-related projects and climbing, ranging from trials of antiviral drugs to Immunomodulatory drugs to vaccines and diagnostic devices. In recognition of these efforts we recently were named a top-three CRO for market-leading COVID-19 services by Life Science Strategy Group. 

We have adapted our ongoing trials to the new normal, transitioning many of them underway to the Decentralized Clinical Trial format, and winning a significant number of new trials using this approach. We are bringing trials to patients in their homes with at-home screening visits, direct-to-patient drug shipments and remote monitoring. These approaches will impact our industry well into the future and will forever impact how new medicines are developed.

Recognizing our teams on the front line

Parexel’s Clinical Development colleagues — including our Clinical Research Associates (CRAs) on the front line — have continued to put patients first through the pandemic. At the same time, our four Early Phase Clinical Units have continued to forge ahead with ongoing studies, screening thousands of new study participants while initiating seven COVID-19 vaccine studies. And finally, our Clinical Trial Supply & Logistics team continues to ensure all of our patients receive their study drug on time, executing 15,000+ clinical shipments during the last six months, including those going directly to patients.

Our global colleagues are essential to our delivery of clinical trials. We are grateful for their extraordinary efforts to continue going the extra mile for Parexel, our customers and the patients who are benefitting from the new therapies we are helping to develop. As a top priority, we’ve made a commitment that our front-line teams have the PPE and supplies needed to conduct their work in a safe and effective manner for all.

Embracing new ways of working

While a significant portion of our workforce was already working remotely pre-pandemic, we have been encouraged to see how effectively our global colleagues have adapted to working remotely over the past few months.

As we look at the road ahead, our focus has been on “Jump-Starting” Parexel with your needs in mind — while doing so at a measured pace that ensures safety for all colleagues. Initially, those team members whose roles do not require travel or who do not need to work from the office are being guided to continue working remotely. There is an opportunity for a limited number of colleagues to return to the office as and when the pandemic subsides, with a priority focus on those individuals delivering on your needs. 

Continuing to focus on patients

Throughout these unprecedented times, Parexel has kept the patient at the heart of everything we do. This is clear in the many innovations we have seen that are focused on patients — including the launch during the pandemic of our first integrated research platform. Borne out of an interest in leveraging our collective expertise to address the pandemic and leveraging input from well-respected experts across the industry, #KeepingPatientsFirst combines the best of our informatics and real-world evidence expertise to provide patients and physicians a single source for rapid access to pooled real-time data and analyses on the COVID-19 illness, and on multiple COVID-19 therapies in use. We are excited about the potential to make a difference in the fight against COVID-19 through this platform.

I am grateful every day for our global teams who have worked tirelessly to support our customers, sites and patients during this time. On behalf of all 20,000 colleagues across Parexel and our subsidiaries Health Advances, ExecuPharm and The Medical Affairs Company, we thank you for your continued partnership as we move into the next phase and the future of drug development, together. 

Please reach out at any time if we can be of assistance in any way.

Be well,

Jamie Macdonald

Chief Executive Officer

We are always available for a conversation.


We are always available for a conversation.


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