PPD gets bigger in Ireland, Singapore

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmaceutical industry Clinical trial Singapore

PPD Inc is planning to set up new laboratory facilities in Ireland and Singapore to boost is capabilities in proving analytical services to customers.

The laboratory in Athlone, Ireland, will offer current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) analytical testing services for clinical programmes spanning all phases of drug development. It will serve clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will create around 250 jobs, according to PPD.

The new lab represents an investment of around $18m by PPD, which will also receive some assistance from Ireland’s Investment and Development Agency (IDA).

It should start operations in the latter half of 2009, said the firm, and will concentrate on analytical testing services in method development and validation, stability and quality control testing.

Meanwhile, in Singapore PPD is expanding its central laboratory business with a new facility designed to meet “growing client demand in Southeast Asia.​”

The new lab strengthens PPD’s presence in Singapore, where for a number of years the company has provided a range of clinical development services including clinical trial management and monitoring, patient recruitment, site identification and regulatory affairs.

The laboratory set-up in Singapore will be identical to PPD’s other central laboratories located in Brussels, Belgium; Kentucky in the US; and Beijing, China. PPD did not disclose the cost of the expansion.

PPD is one of the largest CROs in the sector, with a $5.1bn market cap that leaves it second only to Covance with a $6.1bn value. The company has seen some softening in its CRO business of late – marked by a slowdown in new business authorisations and a higher than usual cancellation rate – but has continued to invest for future growth.

A number of CROs have expanded their presence in Asia to serve both a growing customer base of Asian companies, as well as multinationals that are moving their clinical activities overseas to seek cost advantages and new pools of clinical trial subjects.

Clinical research in Asia Pacific grew more than 50 per cent from 2005 to 2006, according to CenterWatch​. The region's population of 3.9 billion can help speed up patient enrolment in clinical trials, according to PPD.

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