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Covance adds 40,000 sq ft US biotech services laboratory

By Nick Taylor , 30-Sep-2010

Covance has added a 40,000 sq ft biotech laboratory to its site in Indiana, US site to support its relationship with Eli Lilly and boost capacity outside Europe.

Addition of the laboratory expands Covance’s biotech service offering into North America and doubles its global footprint. The new capacity allows Covance to accept biotech work from other clients, as well as Eli Lilly and a second major pharma client who already outsource to the site.

For the past 20 years Covance has provided biotech services from its site in Harrogate, UK and this experience has been leveraged to support set up in the US. Drawing on this experience allowed Covance to quickly begin biotech operations at the Greenfield site.

Now, following the expansion of its relationship with Lilly, Covance has established a biotech services laboratory in the US. The Greenfield site now houses analytical laboratories for protein chemistry, immunocharacterisation, bioassay, stability studies and release testing services.

The expansion of our high-quality biotechnology services from Europe to North America is a critical milestone for Covance to meet the growing biopharmaceutical development needs from our clients”, said Carl Martin, vice president, biotechnology at Covance.

Biotech laboratory service provision at Covance now includes current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) cell bank production and storage, biosafety testing, viral clearance services, gene therapy fate studies and product characterisation.

$250m stock buyback

Earlier this week the board of directors at Covance authorised the repurchase of up to $250m (€183m) in outstanding common stock. This is in addition to the 800,000 shares remaining under the 2007 repurchase authorisation.

"This action reflects the confidence of the Board and management in the fundamental strengths and future outlook of Covance", said Joe Herring, chairman and CEO, of Covance.

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