Life Sciences

PRA Health Sciences

unsung heroes of medical development
PRA Health Sciences

The company has had a base in Swansea since 1996, originally employing just five people. But with the help of a Welsh Government grant, the company is being supported to build the employee count up to 280.

Now located at the city's waterside SA1 development, PRA's clinical informatics hub supports pharmaceutical companies as they undertake trials of new drugs and therapies. It's highly specialised work that demands skilled graduates with the right qualifications, and most recruitment is from the local area.

Ben Rodway grew up in Swansea, and joined PRA as a clinical informatics specialist in 2013 after completing a biology degree. He now works as a lead data manager. "I was very excited to find a clinical research organisation on my doorstep," he says. "And I have to say, our colleagues worldwide are slightly envious of our seaside location."

"The ties that PRA has with Swansea University are incredibly important. A lot of my colleagues are graduates of Welsh universities, and we're aiming to build up the bond between high-quality education and not just jobs but careers.

"But beyond that, we feel as though we're part of a whole life sciences ecosystem in Wales. The university is developing a science park close to our offices, where industry and academia will be able to develop as a connected whole. It feels like a sea change, and it's great to watch it succeed."

"It's a satisfying job too, to play a part in potentially life-changing medical advances. "Drug development is a huge task," he says, "and data management is a small but crucial part. I make sure the data is of high quality and fit for analysis, and it's very exciting to contribute to the end goal of getting new therapies out there."

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