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Jul 30, 2010

PPD Expands cGMP Lab Services in North America

  • PPD expanded its cGMP laboratory testing services into Wayne, PA, to meet growing client demand from companies located in northeastern U.S. The 5,000 square foot facility will provide small and large molecule testing, including vaccines and biologics.

    The facility can also be expanded to include an additional 10,000 square feet of laboratory space. PPD reports that it has transferred a lab manager and four analysts from its cGMP laboratory in Madison, WI, to the Wayne site. The company plans to hire an additional 25 people for the laboratory by the end of the year.

    “Expanding our cGMP laboratory operations into Wayne puts us in close proximity to a large concentration of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies based in the Northeast,” notes Magdalena Mejillano, Ph.D., vp of cGMP lab services for PPD. “This expansion enhances our ability to serve clients in this region more effectively while delivering more flexible resources for onsite staffing programs at client sites.”

    The news follows about four months after PPD launched the Vaccines & Biologics Center of Excellence, building on the firm’s January 2009 purchase of Merck & Co.’s 130,000 square foot vaccine-testing lab in Wayne. The aim of the new center is to enable clients to streamline and customize laboratory services for their biologics portfolios by integrating vaccine testing, bioanalytical, cGMP, and global central lab capabilities.

    PPD has also made strides into the Asia Pacific market in the last 12 months. The company has had an office in Beijing since 2003 and began expanding further into Asia since the end of 2008.

    In September 2009, it opened a laboratory facility at the Singapore Science Park II. The company said that the site would house identical laboratory instrumentation to that at its other global central labs in Brussels, Beijing, and Highland Heights, KY, to facilitate the cross-validation of assays between all its locations.

    In April 2009, PPD opened an office in Tokyo to expand its Phase II-IV clinical development services. To further pad Phase II–IV clinical management, data management and biostatistics, and regulatory and quality-assurance services, the firm acquired Chinese CRO Excel PharmaStudies. About two weeks later it picked up Beijing-based BioDuro, which offers synthesis and optimization services. And in April 2010, PPD opened a vaccine clinical research center in Taizhou, China, to provide clinical-monitoring services.

    In February 2010, the company reported opening offices in Manila, Philippines, and Bangalore, India, also to expand its Phase II–IV development services. “With 90 million people living in the Philippines and more than 20 million in Manila, there is enthusiasm for local expansion and involvement in clinical trials,” noted Lesley Gerrard, director of clinical management in PPD’s Melbourne office, at the time of the announcement. As for the Bangalore office, PPD said that it would serve as a point of easy access to all sites across south India.

    And the company has also been bumping up its presence in Europe and the Middle East. In 2009, it acquired AbC.R.O, a CRO operating in Central and Eastern Europe. In March 2010, the firm opened an 18,000 square foot analytical testing laboratory in Athlone, Ireland, expanding its capacity to meet growing client demand in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.


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