Josef von Rickenbach, chairman and CEO of Parexel International, a global bio/pharmaceutical services organization, will be honored for his commitment and contributions to the biotechnology industry, by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), a not-for-profit organization that represents and provides services and support for the Massachusetts biotechnology industry.
The award will be presented at MassBio’s Annual Meeting on Friday, March 15 in Cambridge, Mass. The award recognizes an industry executive who has a strong presence and commitment to growth in Massachusetts, actively supports community-based organizations, contributes to science education to prepare the future workforce and creates a positive work environment that fosters motivation and collaboration. It is named for longtime president and CEO of Genyzme, Henri Termeer.
“I am truly honored to be recognized by MassBio for this award,” said von Rickenbach. “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. We have maintained a clear focus on our mission to combine the strength of our expertise, experience and innovation to bring new medical treatments to market faster.”
Von Rickenbach co-founded Parexel as a regulatory consulting company in 1982 and soon grew the organization into a pioneer in clinical research outsourcing. 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. Thirty years later, Parexel is a $1.6 billion global company and one of the top biopharmaceutical service organizations in the world.
The company has forged long-standing strategic partnerships with the world’s largest biopharma companies as well as the next generation of industry innovators. For example, the Parexel BioPharm Unit focuses solely on the unique needs of small and mid-sized companies and helps them achieve their development goals.
Today, Parexel employs nearly 14,000 people in 73 offices across 51 countries. The company employs 2,000 people across two Massachusetts locations, including its international headquarters in Waltham.
Under von Rickenbach’s leadership, the Parexel Academy is committed to developing the future biopharmaceutical workforce with courses specifically tailored to meeting the growing talent needs of the clinical development job market. That commitment is evident in programs like Parexel’s new partnership with Salem State University to offer a Post Graduate Certificate Program in Clinical Trial Management.
Earlier this year, von Rickenbach was elected chairman of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO). He also serves on the board of directors of New England Healthcare Institute.
“Josef von Rickenbach has been an innovator since the moment he founded his company, shaping an industry that has become a vital piece of the drug development process,” said Robert K. Coughlin, president and CEO of MassBio. “We are thrilled to honor his commitment to the industry, to Massachusetts and to the next generation of life sciences workers.”
Von Rickenbach is the fifth person to receive this award. Past recipients include Fereydoun Firouz, former president and CEO of EMD Serono; Michael Bonney, president and CEO of Cubist Pharmaceuticals; Deborah Dunsire, president and CEO of Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company; and Joshua Boger, CEO of Vertex.