PPD opens Ireland lab; moves forward with Furiex spin-off

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, U.s. securities and exchange commission

US CRO PPD has been busy on both sides of the Atlantic, opening a clinical testing facility in Ireland and, in the US, moving forward with plans to spin-off its compound partnering business as Furiex Pharmaceuticals

The new facility in the Garrycastle Business and Technology Park in Athlone, Ireland already has a staff 21 PhD level employees and will create jobs for 220 or so more over the next few years according to PPD.

The contract research organisation (CRO) said the unit, plans for which were unveiled in 2008​, will provide analytical testing for method development and validation, stability and quality control, as well as clinical supply storage and secondary packaging services.

The new 18,000 sqft facility will also offer regulatory support and qualified persons (QP) services for all pharmaceutical dosage forms, with a particular emphasis on biopharmaceuticals and inhalable drugs.

PPD, which said it will spend up to €14m ($19m) on the site over then next five years, has applied to the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) for the necessary manufacturing licenses and expects the facility to become operational later this year.

Magdalena Mejillano, VP of lab services explained that: “The Irish government, through IDA Ireland, has provided us strong support​,” adding that PPD is “pleased to join Athlone’s strong, growing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors​.”

Compound partnering spin-off

In other news, PPD has filed a Form 10 registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with the previously announced​ spin-off of its compound partnering business.

The new entity, which will be known as Furiex Pharmaceuticals, is expected to have rights to a number of exisiting PPD deals including: the Alza Priligy collaboration; the Takeda alogliptin partnership; and the firm’s dermatology program.

The spin-off, which is still subject to final approval by the US CRO’s executive board, is expected to complete before the end of the year.

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