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GEN News Highlights : Jan 11, 2011

PPD and Taijitu Biologics Establish Antibody Discovery Services JV in Singapore

BioDuro Biologics will offer services based on new mAb discovery platform.

Contract research organization PPD and Taijitu Biologics (TBL) have set up a biotherapeutics discovery joint venture called BioDuro Biologics, in Singapore. PPD will retain a majority stake in the new business and has pledged to invest $25 million.

BioDuro Biologics aims to develop and commercialize a technology platform for the discovery of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics, in collaboration with MAB Discovery, which is based in Munich, Germany. The joint venture will then offer drug discovery services based on the platform, for the discovery of mAbs against both new and validated targets. PPD says the new technology will also enable it to extend the breadth of services offered through its Vaccines & Biologics Center of Excellence, which was recently established to provide a full suite of services in support of vaccine and biologics programs from preclinical development through to post approval.

"Developing a best-in-class, innovative technology platform for the discovery of monoclonal antibodies allows us to continue to deliver highly valued discovery services for our clients in the growing area of large molecule drug discovery," comments Lee Babiss,Ph.D., executive vp for global laboratory services at PPD. "As PPD continues to invest in drug discovery, we are well-positioned to deliver high-quality, innovative drug discovery technologies and expertise that advance our clients' compounds more quickly and cost efficiently."

PPD’s strategy to invest in drug discovery was accelerated in November 2009, when the firm took over Beijing-based drug discovery outsourcing company BioDuro. The business offers integrated research and development services to biopharmaceutical clients, spanning medicinal chemistry, discovery biology, pharmacology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, and drug safety evaluation.

PDD says the establishment of BioDuro Biologics in Singapore will generate new opportunities for its existing BioDuro drug discovery operation, in the form of additional services for antibodies discovered using the new technology platform.