The two companies will apply Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing tech with drug development applications.

Contract research organization (CRO) Parexel, which was recently acquired by Pamplona Capital for $5 billion, announced that it is forming an alliance with Microsoft to develop cloud-based software solutions designed to speed up drug research and development efforts and “drive digital transformation” of biopharma.

In the first phase of the partnership, Parexel will move its Parexel Informatics technology and services onto Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing technology. The two companies will also focus on “patient-centric technologies” and cloud-based services that will support clinical research and market access for Parexel’s clients in the life sciences. "As part of this partnership, Microsoft and PAREXEL are aligning across multiple streams, from research to development, to engineering and client management,” said Parexel Informatics President Xavier Flinois. Paraxel Informatics will still operate as a business unit of Parexel, however.

Specifically, the companies aim to develop solutions to enhance patient engagement and make participation in clinical trials more accessible, according to the two companies. They also hope to “help the industry deliver on the promise of precision medicine.”

“Drug development is becoming more complex, while innovations including social media, analytics, mobile technology and the Internet of Things are enabling a more patient-centric approach. In combination, Microsoft’s leading innovations and commitment to security and regulatory compliance, along with Parexel’s industry expertise, will allow us to bring accelerated drug delivery timelines and improved patient engagement to the industry,” Flinois said.

Added Peggy Johnson, EVP and Business Development at Microsoft: “By combining the global scale and intelligent capabilities of Microsoft Azure with Parexel’s biopharmaceutical expertise, together we will help life science companies to accelerate the drug development and commercialization process, all built on a foundation of trust, security and compliance with the Microsoft Cloud.”