PPD will join research specialists Life Technologies, worth $3.8bn and Illumina, valued at $2.6bn as well as drug firm Warner Chilcot, worth $3.3bn, as the fourth healthcare sector player to be included on the list when coverage is initiated on December 22.
Eshelman said that: “This achievement is the result of the commitment and dedication of our employees around the world to delivering high quality services to our clients.”
A similar reaction was issued by Life Technologies’ CEO Greg Lucier. He said that the firm’s "inaugural listing reflects the scale we achieved in 2008 with the merger of Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems."
Echoing both these opinions, Illumina CEO Jay Flatley, explained that: "Being included in of one of the most visible global indices is an important milestone for Illumina, and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees."
Healthcare gains in economic climate
The four healthcare sector firms replace a variety of IT, entertainment and telecommunications groups, indicating the relative stability and strength of the drug and biotechnology industries in the current economic climate.
Companies leaving the list later this month include: Cadence Design Systems; Discovery Communications; Lamar Advertising; Leap Wireless International; Level 3 Communications; PetSmart; SanDisk; Sirius XM Radio; and Virgin Media.
One notable exception is US drugmaker Amylin Pharmaceuticals, which is due to be demoted from the list. The firm suffered a set back when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said data from a trial of its diabetes drug Byetta was not sufficient to support a once-weekly usage indication.
Since then news that development partner Eli Lilly remains committed to the project has helped the Amylin’s share price.