Parexel Invests $1.7M, Adds 264 Jobs to Durham Shared HQ

Parexel logo

Parexel International Corp., a global contract research organization headquartered near Boston, agreed today to 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.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced the expansion following a meeting of the state’s Economic Investment Committee in which Parexel received some $4.2 million in state incentives and $120,500 from Durham County. The company plans to pay average wages of $110,511 for the newly created jobs. The Durham County average is $68,731.

Jamie Macdonald
CEO Jamie Macdonald
-- Parexel photo

“Parexel is pleased to announce our expanded presence and continued commitment to North Carolina through the establishment of a second U.S. headquarters in Durham,” said Parexel CEO Jamie Macdonald. “The talent pipeline we’ve been able to attract to our Durham operation as a result of the strong life sciences presence in the region has been outstanding, making it the ideal location to help fuel our future growth. We look forward to our expansion here, accelerating the development of innovative new therapies for patients and providing career development opportunities for employees in this rewarding field.”

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland added, “North Carolina invented the contract research organization model, an innovation that revolutionized the process of drug discovery and development. I’m pleased that one of the world’s largest CROs will now locate its second U.S. headquarters in our state, taking advantage of the world-class talent and educational resources available here.”

Parexel International Corporation Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Kingdom-based West Street Holdings III Limited. The privately held company’s 20,000 employees, including 634 in North Carolina, provide a suite of biopharmaceutical services to clients in more than 100 countries. Its drug-development and launch offerings include clinical development, integrated advanced technologies, regulatory affairs consulting and commercialization services. Parexel spokeswoman Wendy Ryan said the company currently employs 291 people at its Durham site and 343 others around North Carolina.

World's largest concentration of CROs

“This is a significant announcement from a valued member of our amazing contract research community,” said Doug Edgeton, president and CEO of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. “North Carolina is not only the birthplace of the CRO industry, but it is now home to more than 150 of these service providers to pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. It’s the world’s largest concentration, employing more than 24,000 people within the state and tens of thousands of others around the world. We thank Parexel for its contribution to North Carolina’s global life science leadership.”

The growing CRO base 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.

Parexel's Durham campus
Parexel's Durham campus.

Parexel opened its doors in Durham in 1994. 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.

Partnering with N.C. Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. on the Parexel project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Durham County, and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.

For questions or more information, contact:
Jim Shamp
Director of Public Relations Corporate Communications 919-549-8889 |

scroll back to top of page