At the beginning of this year, PPD unveiled plans to expand further in China, with a multifunctional clinical research lab at the center. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, the CRO giant intends to keep its promise.
PPD has chosen the Chinese city of Suzhou, near Shanghai, as the home for its new clinical research lab, aiming to add 350 jobs along the way, the North Carolina-based company said Tuesday.
The new, 67,000-square-foot facility, expected to be fully operational in 2021, brings together bioanalytical, biomarker and vaccine services to support all phases of trials for both domestic and Western biopharmas, according to the company.
“Integrating three sophisticated laboratories in one strategic location will make our new China facility a premier destination for biopharma customers seeking high-caliber lab services to accelerate clinical research within China and on the global stage,” Christopher Fikry, executive vice president of PPD, said in a statement.
The services PPD’s offering at the Suzhou site cover a wide range. The bioanalytical lab will specialize in developing assays for PK/PD analyses and immunogenicity assessments for vaccines. The biomarker lab will be enhanced by PPD's alliance with NeoGenomics, which intends to set up an oncology-focused trials testing lab of its own alongside PPD’s lab in Suzhou.
In addition to Suzhou, PPD maintains a central lab in Shanghai, China’s biophama hub, as well as one in Singapore that also serves the Asia-Pacific region.
PPD went back to being a public firm with a $1.6 billion IPO in February and just pulled off a secondary offering in September of about $1.2 billion. Before that, the company in January unveiled a sweeping plan for expansion in China.
Besides establishing the multinational lab, the plan also includes enlarging its clinical development offices in Beijing and Shanghai and opening new offices in Guangzhou and Shenyang. In addition, PPD also added China to its clinical trial enrollment solutions for chronic ambulatory trials.
PPD’s ambitious expansion in China reflects the CRO industry’s broader interest in taking advantage of the country’s biotech boom as well as its growing stake in multinational companies’ businesses.