PPD initiates central lab services in China

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ppd Clinical trial Contract research organization

Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) has initiated central
laboratory services in China in response to the country's budding
clinical trials scene.

The US-based contract research organisation (CRO) has formed an exclusive agreement with Peking Union Lawke Biomedical Development Limited (PUL) that has allowed it to "begin immediately"​ providing its central lab services to biopharma firms in the country. The firm currently has other central labs in Brussels, Belgium and Kentucky in the US and said that China's attractiveness lies in the fact that it is a "high-growth clinical research market."​ PPD, along with several other global CROs already currently run clinical trials in China. Agostino Fede, director of PPD's global central labs operation said that the presence of a central lab in China will also save its clients time and money by providing lab results "more quickly without incurring expenses for exporting shipments." "Chinese law makes it extremely difficult to export lab samples to other countries for testing,"​ said Fede. It also saves our clients time and money by providing lab results "more quickly without incurring expenses for exporting shipments." ​PPD is not the only CRO to have this idea. Its larger rival Quintiles also expanded its Global Central Laboratories and Clinical Development Services units in china (Beijing) earlier this month. Under PPD's new arrangement, the firm will also operate the new lab services from a base in Beijing, where the country's largest life sciences park is located, having invested in lab equipment on site that is "identical"​ to that of its other two central labs. The firm said that its new China central lab will be networked with PPD's in-house computer system and after completing a number of cross-validation and quality assurance measures, it is expected to deliver laboratory data that are "directly combinable." ​PPD, as with many of the large CROs, has been making preparations to increase its presence in new and emerging geographic locations, although it may be taking extra pains to be seen to be branching out globally. The company generates two thirds of its sales in the US, but has been conscious of developing its operations beyond US borders since July last year when several analysts expressed concern that the firm was not capitalising enough on conducting business outside the country. At the end of July, PPD announced it would expand its operations in Scotland and more than double its workforce over the next three years. Several months later, the company announced the opening of site in four new global locations - Copenhagen, Denmark; Sydney, Australia; Lima, Peru and Lisbon, Portugal. Since October, it has also made a number of key appointments in a bid to bolster its global activities. Earlier this month the firm hired a new senior member of management to oversee the company's Phase II-IV clinical operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and lead its expansion plans in the budding region. "EMEA has been and will continue to be a very large and important region for PPD clinical research operations",​ said William Sharbaugh, chief operating officer of PPD. Sebastian Pacios now holds the position of PPD's senior vice president of clinical operations for EMEA, moving to the post from rival firm PRA International where he served as vice president, responsible for clinical research and project management in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

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