The new organisation – PPD-SNBL – will be based at SNBL’s sites in Tokyo, Osaka and Kagoshima and will employ a staff of 400. The idea is to combine SNBL’s local clinical operations with PPD’s experience of running global trials.
Outside of the JV, the firms will also team up to provide customers targeting the world’s second largest drug market with early phase development and Phase I trial services.
PPD CEO David Simmons said: “PPD-SNBL will be one of the largest clinical development service providers in Japan, both for clients seeking to conduct global clinical trials and also for trials based solely in Japan.”
The decision to partner in Japan rather than go it alone is in keeping with analysis published by PPD in 2013, which it revealed that hiring trial staff is one of the biggest challenges that global contract research organisations (CRO) face in the country.
PPD said: “Multinational CROs looking to enter or expand their presence in Japan have found that staffing is a significant hurdle. Success hinges on recruiting and retaining experienced clinical trial personnel who are familiar with local Japanese practice and culture, able to adapt to global standards, and fluent in English.”