Covance and LabCorp open a new R&D center to pool their expertise

Covance's Herman Scholtz

Covance, recently acquired by testing giant LabCorp ($LH), has opened a new, expanded clinical research unit in Texas, pairing space for trials alongside a planned patient-service center operated by its parent company.

The new operation is in the same building as Covance's previous Dallas outpost, adding 28 beds to the prior unit's 72-patient capacity. The expanded facility is about 55,000 square feet, replete with an on-site pharmacy, space for specialized ophthalmology and diabetes tests, and 5 manufacturing suites, Covance said. The site employs 75 people and will eventually host about 120, according to the company.

The expansion also includes space for a LabCorp-run service center, which will educate study volunteers on all the combined company has to offer.

LabCorp's $6 billion acquisition of Covance, closed this year, was designed to link its expertise in real-world diagnostic testing with the CRO's capacity in clinical trials, creating an end-to-end offering. Now, installing a patient-service center at the clinical research unit is an effort to bridge the gap between clinical development and diagnostics, the company said.

"We have invested in a highly customized facility designed to facilitate the safety and quality of our studies and to enhance our clients' and volunteers' experience," Covance Vice President Herman Scholtz said in a statement. "In addition, we are excited about the unique opportunity to educate patients about our clinical trials and complement our local patient recruitment capabilities through the future LabCorp patient-service center."

- read the statement