PPD targets NJ, PA

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ppd, Vice president of the united states

PPD targets NJ, PA
PPD’s acquisition of Merck’s vaccine testing laboratory will give it a geographic location from which it can compete for business with its “number one competitor”, which is well established in the north east of the US.

The facility in Wayne, Pennsylvania, US puts PPD in close proximity to pharmas in the State and neighbouring New Jersey and Magdalena Mejillano, vice president of PPD's cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) laboratory, believes this will benefit the business.

Speaking to Outsourcing-Pharma at AAPS Mejillano explained that PPD’s “number one competitor​” has generated significant business by operating in the region. Now that PPD also has operations there Mejillano is hopeful that it will be able to take a slice of the market.

In addition to the geography the Wayne facility’s structure could also help PPD. The site consists of a number of segregated laboratories which can be tailored to the demands of a particular client request.

This gives PPD considerable flexibility, allowing it to offer an array of services spanning small and large molecules. Mejillano said that pharma's requests have evolved, becoming more creative and the flexibility of PPD’s Wayne facility will help it meet these demands.

International expansion

PPD is also expanding into Ireland. The laboratory is due to open towards the end of the year and will be certified in January 2010, after which PPD will be able to conduct cGMP testing.

Establishing a presence in Ireland is intended to help PPD grow in the European market, which Mejillano described as wide open. PPD is particularly focusing on release testing in Europe.

Ireland was selected as a location because of the pharma presence in the country, financial incentives on offer and accessibility to the rest of the world, according to Mejillano.

Furthermore, PPD was also attracted to Ireland’s talent pool and Mejillano believes the recent closures have helped the company with its recruitment. So far PPD has hired 13 people and is aiming to have a headcount of 50 when fully operational.

Going forward

PPD has undergone a period of geographic expansion, placing particular emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Asia-Pacific, but Mejillano said construction of cGMP facilities will now slowdown, with the focus shifting to diversification and new services.

The drive to diversify is intended to equip PPD in the event of a downturn in demand in the future. Mejillano believes PPD has coped better with the current downturn than some of its competitors, putting it in a strong position when demand picks up.

In addition the challenging period has led to PPD taking “a hard look at how it operates​” and as a result of this has made a lot of improvements to increase efficiency.

Mejillano added that PPD is looking to bolster its capabilities in formulation development and clinical trial supplies.

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