DURHAM – Calyx, a spinoff of life science firm Parexel, launches today with 2,300 employees and a dual headquarters, one in Durham and one in the U.K.

Privately held Parexel announced the formal launch of Calyx early Monday. The new venture includes the former Parexel Informatics and Medical Imaging business.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone as we further position Parexel to expect accelerated growth and performance as a top-tier CRO,” said Jamie Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer of Parexel, in the announcement. “We believe the separation will provide Calyx the opportunity to prioritize investments in technology development, customer delivery and customer relationships while enabling the Parexel corporate business to strengthen its focus on the delivery of innovative clinical development solutions that reinforce our patients-first focus and advance world health.”

The spinoff will be led by Gavin Nichols who joined Parexel as Executive Vice President, Informatics and Information Technology in 2019. He previously had worked at BioClinica, where he served as Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President of Technology.

Calyx offers:

  • Medical Imaging
  • Clinical Trial Management Systems (CTMS)
  • Electronic Data Capture (EDC)
  • Interactive Response Technology (IRT)
  • Regulatory Information Management (RIM) solutions

Parexel is a growing contract research organization, or CRO, providing services to life science companies. It has some 16,000 employees with headquarters in Boston and Durham.

In May 2019, Parexel said it would invest $1.7 million and add 264 employees to its Durham operations and turn the site into a shared headquarters by adding some key functions to the North Carolina campus.

It’s part of a growing CRO base in the Triangle includes large multi-nationals like IQVIA, PPD, Syneos Health, LabCorp, Duke Clinical Research Institute and RTI International. Mid-sized organizations headquartered in the state and large multi-nationals with North Carolina campuses include firms like Alcami, Catalent, Mayne Pharma, Charles River Laboratories, PRA Health Sciences, Genova Diagnostics and Rho.

There’s also a full complement of small, targeted CROs, many the result of churn in the industry and an entrepreneurial spirit statewide that has driven North Carolina to the top tier of life science clusters.

GlaxoSmithKline established a dedicated business unit within Parexel in late 2014, staffed by several hundred GSK employees who then became Parexel workers. At that time Parexel was publicly traded, but the company was taken private by Pamplona Capital in 2017.

(The N.C. Biotech Center contributed to this report.)

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