Clinical research company moving part of its HQ to Durham after getting incentives

Downtown Durham in May 2018.
Downtown Durham in May 2018.

Parexel, a clinical research organization, is moving part of its headquarters operation to Durham after receiving an incentive package from the state.

The company, currently headquartered in Boston, is creating a “dual headquarters” at its current Durham office and will relocate some of its Massachusetts-based business and employees to Durham as part of the deal.

The incentive package, worth $4.2 million, was approved during an Economic Investment Committee meeting in Raleigh on Thursday. Durham County is also adding $120,500 toward the relocation.

Parexel would bring 264 jobs to Durham over the next four years as part of its agreement with the state.

The company already has 588 jobs in the state at multiple sites — though at one point it had more than 1,000 employees locally, The News & Observer reported. Its Durham office is in the southern part of the city near Research Triangle Park.

The minimum average wage of the jobs is $110,511, which is greater than the county’s average of $68,731. The jobs moving to Durham would include mainly corporate positions such as human resources, IT, legal counsel and marketing.

The company is apparently also considering moving some of its logistics operations here, including trial management, site feasibility and data analysis.

Parexel is part of the clinical research industry, which has grown a significant presence in the Triangle in the past few decades, with other companies like IQVIA, formerly Quintiles, and Rho also based here.

These companies perform clinical trials for drug and pharmaceutical companies that are trying to get regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulators.

Parexel, which has had a presence in the Triangle for many years, was bought by a private equity firm called Pamplona Capital Management in 2017. West Street Holdings III, an affiliate of Pamplona Capital, now runs the company.

This is the second time this year that an incentive has been used to sway a company’s expansion to Durham County.

In February, AveXis, a clinical-stage gene therapy company that makes treatments for spinal muscular atrophy, said it would create 200 jobs in Durham County, doubling its headcount in Research Triangle Park, in return for a $1.4 million incentive package.

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.