LabCorp's CRO unit sets up major Shanghai R&D base

LabCorp spent $6 billion for Covance in 2015 and has continued to help build up the CRO. (LabCorp)

LabCorp’s CRO unit Covance has unveiled a new R&D center in Shanghai, building on more than two decades of work in the region.

LabCorp has been in China since 1998 but this week bolstered its Covance unit’s presence in the region, with the R&D Center occupying 12,000 square meters in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park of Shanghai's Pudong District.

“It doubles Covance’s capacity to serve customers with clinical development and commercialization solutions, bioanalytical services and central laboratory services,” the company said.

This builds on its facility on Kangxin Road in the Shanghai International Medical Zone, not far from the new center, which focuses on early development.

“We entered China in 1998 and have grown our breadth of services, scientific capabilities and therapeutic expertise progressively, building our operations to meet global standards and requirements,” said John Ratliff, CEO at Covance.

“Today we are the only provider to offer comprehensive R&D services from early development through commercial solutions in China, as well as globally. Our Shanghai R&D Center continues our investment in China, bringing professionals and teams together to serve both the burgeoning Chinese pharmaceutical and biotech industry, as well as global biopharmaceutical clients working in the region.”

RELATED: LabCorp spends $485M as its CRO unit snaps up Envigo's nonclinical business

Back in 2015, the medical testing giant snapped up Covance for $6 billion at a time when CRO M&A mania was in the ascendancy. Earlier this year, in a deal worth nearly half a billion dollars, Covance boosted its nonclinical contract research services business as its parent company buys out the segment from Envigo and the latter repositions.

On the flip side of this deal, Envigo’s research models and services business bought out Covance’s research products business.

“It’s an exciting time to be at the heart of pharmaceutical R&D in China,” said Honggang Bi, Ph.D., corporate vice president of Covance and general manager for China. “The government has identified pharmaceutical innovation as a national strategy, with a program of reforms and regulations that has ignited innovation and accelerated development at both a national and global level. The inauguration of our R&D Center in Shanghai signals our long-term commitment to this exciting and growing industry.”