PPD boosts early research services with new and updated CRUs


PPD, which is going public (again) after years of being private, is ramping up its clinical research units (CRUs).

The big CRO said it is adding “significant neuroscience and ethno-bridging expertise” by adding a series of new CRUs: This includes a 52-bed CRU in Orlando, Florida and PPD’s Las Vegas CRU—which sits next to a hospital and is a 24-bed unit specializing in endocrinology and metabolic trials—has been boosted by adding Japanese ethno-bridging studies

The Florida site will focus on early phase 1 research, recruiting and conducting trials in multiple neurological indications, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The Las Vegas CRU, meanwhile, will “allow biopharmaceutical companies to incorporate Asian patient data in parallel with western regions to initiate phase 3 studies in Asian markets sooner,” PPD said in a statement.

“By tapping into nearby high-concentration Japanese communities, we are able to study the way this population metabolizes medications and recommend alterations in safety, efficacy or dosages,” explained Scott Dove, VP of early development at PPD.

“In addition to ethno-bridging, we have expanded our distinct capabilities in neuroscience and other niche therapeutic areas to study patient populations more reflective of the products’ end users. Increasing client access to special patient populations opens exciting opportunities for the development of important new therapies to address unmet medical needs.”

This comes after a flurry of activity for the CRO this year, which includes expanding its Richmond, Virginia lab by adding 200 new staffers and boosting its research capabilities back in September; a month before this, it also penned a deal with cancer biotech Harbour BioMed, seeing the pair team up to create new oncology and immunology drugs.

And last month PPD launched a new service aimed at clinical research training for doctors and healthcare workers at new sites to help them stay the course.

This comes amid plans to float an IPO, after being valued at around $9 billion two years ago, and eight years after it went private.