Josef von Rickenbach, Chairman & CEO of PAREXEL International Corporation, with global headquarters located in Waltham, Massachusetts U.S.A., was named Executive of the Year in North America in the management awards categories of The 2010 International Business Awards. Here we profile his company and what it has achieved in nearly three decades.
Founded in 1982 by Joseph von Rickenbach, PAREXEL supports pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical-device companies throughout the world in the successful development and launch of products. Over the past 29 years the company has helped bring some of the most important treatments of our time to the patients who need them. PAREXEL has supported nearly all of the 50 top-selling drugs on the market, and has marked several firsts throughout its history, including helping to achieve one of the fastest drug-development times to date for an HIV/protease inhibitor.
Recently, PAREXEL has achieved marketing approval for among the first biosimilar drugs worldwide, helping to advance new versions of innovator biopharmaceutical products following patent expiry.
On a Mission
Under Mr. von Rickenbach’s leadership, PAREXEL’s mission has been clear: to prevent and cure disease. “We have maintained a clear focus on combining the strength of our expertise, experience, and innovation to advance the success of the biopharmaceutical industry in achieving this,” he said.
A proof point of this mission is PAREXEL’s work with biopharmaceutical companies to improve development success rates for oncology drugs. In 2009 the company announced it had reached a milestone in managing oncology-based clinical trials over the last five years. The trials involved over 175,000 patients in hundreds of programs across 80 countries—a critical achievement given that approximately 10 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year worldwide.
A Vision for Global Drug Development
Mr. von Rickenbach foresaw that pharmaceutical companies with separate national operations needed service providers that combined an international presence with the technology capabilities that would help develop and commercialize drugs for burgeoning international markets. By investing in this vision, PAREXEL has acted as an effective catalyst in this trend.
Today, PAREXEL has helped biopharmaceutical companies transcend national boundaries by providing access to a wide array of geographies for clinical development programs, and offering technologies that facilitate global trials and reduce associated time and cost.
A New Level of Strategic Partnership
Working with PAREXEL's management team, Mr. von Rickenbach has transformed the business in recent years to deliver a new level of strategic partnership.
In 2009 PAREXEL established The Expert Office™, signaling a new level of strategic partnering that provides a single point of contact for clients to more quickly access PAREXEL’s worldwide expertise. This service aligns the company’s leading medical, therapeutic-area, regulatory, and clinical operations experts with their counterparts at biopharmaceutical companies. This consolidation of knowledge helps biopharmaceutical companies make faster, better-informed development and commercialization decisions and accelerate clinical research.
After receiving the Stevie Award, Mr. von Rickenbach said: “I am honored to be recognized by the judges of The International Business Awards. I am proud of PAREXEL’s achievements, including the continued commitment of our employees worldwide to deliver on our goal to be a premier partner to the biopharmaceutical industry."
In addition to the recognition of Mr. von Rickenbach, the eClinical Suite from Perceptive Informatics, a subsidiary of PAREXEL, was named in The International Business Awards as Distinguished Honoree in the category of Best New Product or Service of the Year: Computer Software—New Version. This honor recognized PAREXEL’s focus on innovation and continuous investment in the next generation of technologies to accelerate clinical development.
About Josef von Rickenbach
Josef von Rickenbach has taken PAREXEL from pioneering beginnings as one of the first clinical research organizations in the early 1980s to its place today as one of the top three public biopharmaceutical services providers. As Chairman and CEO of PAREXEL, Mr. von Rickenbach was one of the first to define the clinical research service sector. To make clinical development more effective for clients, he conceived a multidisciplinary and systems-oriented approach to outsourced clinical development, bringing efficiencies, scalability, and standardization to the process.
Mr. von Rickenbach has led PAREXEL through its IPO, multiple public offerings, and over 30 acquisitions to expand its portfolio in order to meet changing client needs and market demand. Under his leadership, PAREXEL has evolved to provide a broad range of services to the biopharmaceutical industry, including integrated clinical development, regulatory affairs consulting, commercialization services, and technologies that expedite time-to-market. Mr. von Rickenbach’s extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical services industries puts him at the forefront of drug development and management. He began his career with Schering-Plough and also held positions with ENSECO (formerly ERCO).
Mr. von Rickenbach has served as Chair of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO), and is a longstanding member of the ACRO Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Healthcare Institute. He holds a B.S. degree in Business Economics from the School of Business at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University.
PAREXEL International Corporation is a leading global biopharmaceutical services organization, providing a broad range of knowledge-based contract research, medical communications, and consulting services to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. For more information about PAREXEL visit www.PAREXEL.com.