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Jan 5, 2009

PPD Purchases Merck’s Vaccine Testing Lab and Inks Two Separate Deals

  • PPD bought Merck & Co.’s vaccine testing laboratory and entered a collaboration with the firm frelated to vaccine testing. Additionally, PPD and Merck expanded their existing central-laboratory and sample-storage service relationship for five years.

    The acquisition of Merck’s 130,000 square foot vaccine testing laboratory in Wayne, PA, expands PPD’s overall global central-laboratory business. PPD purchased related equipment and hired the nearly 80 Merck professionals who operate this facility.

    PPD plans to invest in the newly acquired lab by developing new technologies and assays to expand its immunochemistry and oncology vaccine testing services as well as biologics lab services for other biopharmaceutical clients.

    As part of the newly inked alliance, PPD will provide assay development and immunogenicity testing to support Merck’s vaccine portfolio over a period of five years.

    “With this acquisition, we believe we are the first CRO to have a central lab that offers a comprehensive menu of assay development and testing services for vaccine clinical trials,” states Agostino L. Fede, svp of PPD and head of global central labs.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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