Microsoft and Parexel International, a biopharmaceutical services company, have partnered to create cloud-based services aimed at helping pharmaceutical firms speed up the delivery of new drugs and therapies.
Under the terms of the alliance, Microsoft Azure becomes Parexel's preferred cloud platform, similar to deals the Redmond, Wash. software giant has struck with Adobe and SAP SuccessFactors. Microsoft and Parexel are also collaborating on cloud services and technologies that help life sciences organizations conduct clinical research and expand market access.
Together, Microsoft and Parexel will explore ways of helping the industry advance the field of precision medicine. They also plan on building systems that promote making clinical trials participation more accessible and improve patient engagement, the two companies said in an Oct. 24 announcement.
"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," Xavier Flinois, president of Parexel Informatics, the company's technology subsidiary, said in a statement. "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."
The Parexel partnership isn't Microsoft's first cloud-enabled push into the life sciences technology market.
In May, health care and pharmaceutical technology company Indegene announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft focused on mobile-friendly customer relationship management applications for medical sales representative. The applications bring together Dynamics 365 for Sales and Indegene's Omnipresence platform to streamline content management and make the right information available to drug and medical equipment company representatives available at the right time.
Naturally, Microsoft isn't the only cloud provider looking to lend life sciences companies a hand as they embark on their digital transformation journeys.
In April, Salesforce and QuintilesIMS inked a multi-year deal to cloud applications for medical firms that will enable them manage clinical trials and develop treatments more efficiently. In 2015, IBM unveiled IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance and IBM Watson Care Manager.
IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance helps medical companies bring innovations to market more efficiently while adhering to the industry's stringent regulations pertaining to data access, sharing and hosting. Meanwhile, IBM Watson Care Manager integrates with Apple's HealthKit and ResearchKit, making it easier for researchers and medical professionals to conduct studies with an iPhone.
Amazon Web Services has also set its sights on the life sciences IT solutions market.
In February, the company launched a new Healthcare a Life Sciences category in the AWS marketplace, helping healthcare companies and medical firms find cloud-based products that fit their needs while bulking up its biotech and pharma partner ecosystem.