PPD ends 2008 on a high

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ppd Pharmacology

Pharmaceutical Product Development of the US is expecting to post a 12 per cent hike in revenues in 2009, helped by the recent opening of offices in Ireland and Singapore and new deals with Merck & Co.

Net revenues for the year are expected to come in somewhere between $1.595bn and $1.670bn, around 95 per cent of which will come from PPD’s core development services business.

Earnings per share should rise around 18 per cent overall, said PPD’s chief financial officer Dan Daraszdi, and around 10 per cent for the development services unit.

PPD bought a 13,000 sq. ft. vaccine facility from Merck in early January along with a legacy contract to provide central lab, assay development and immunogenicity testing services over the next five years, and believes it is this type of high-level, strategic deal that will underpin its growth.

The acquisition gives PPD new capability in the vaccine and biologic testing market, said the firm, along with excess capacity which it can use to provide services to other customers.

While we enter 2009 facing the stiff head wins of the global recession which may affect R&D spending, it is clear that biopharmaceutical companies see strategic partnering as an imperative​,” commented PPD’s chief operating officer William Sharbaugh on a conference call.

“As R&D executives prioritise portfolios, we believe late stage assets will be allocated a larger percentage of the budget, and therefore late stage CROs such as PPD will fair better in the current market conditions​,” commented.

Discussing PPD’s other recent deals, Sharbaugh said the new Singapore lab will be operational in the second quarter, adding to the company’s position in Asia-Pacific and working in tandem with its existing facility in China.

The $18m Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility in Athlone, Ireland, should be operational in the latter half of the year, creating 250 jobs. Once online it will offer method development and validation, stability studies, and quality control testing for all phases of drug development with an emphasis on inhalation based products.

Compound partnering

The discovery sciences unit – which handles in-licensing and early-stage development of pharmaceutical products – should bring in around $65m in the form of milestone payments from Takeda, PPD’s partner for diabetes drug candidate alogliptin and Johnson & Johnson which partners its dapoxetine compound for premature ejaculation.

PPD is hoping for approval of the marketing authorisation application for dapoxetine in Europe in the first quarter of this year.

Related topics Preclinical Research Globalization

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