PPD expands lab test work to boost pandemic vaccine, drug trial research

Contract research organization PPD has boosted its COVID-19 research by adding five new molecular, serology and functional assays.

These assays, developed in-house, can be run on a number of platforms and work with high-throughput liquid handling to support large numbers of specimens, attributes “that will be critical to the success of COVID-19 trials,” according to PPD.

So far, PPD Laboratories has supported 15 vaccine programs approved by the FDA and “has experience” with more than 25 therapeutic agents that are currently being assessed for use against COVID-19.

“PPD Laboratories is fully committed to helping our customers bring COVID-19 vaccines and therapies to fruition,” said Christopher Fikry, M.D., executive vice president of PPD.

“The addition of these five assays to our test portfolio will enable us to expand our support of many important COVID-19 trials. We’ve also incorporated innovative measures so trials can start more quickly, run more efficiently and conclude sooner."

This adds to the company's tally of pandemic trial efforts, which in April saw it set up a “quick response” to COVID-19 and its disruption of ongoing studies across biotech and pharma by investing in and teaming up with the likes of virtual trial specialists Medable and Science 37 and said it was “rapidly deploying innovative solutions to mitigate study challenges.”

Before this, in March, it also started a new program via its Accelerated Enrollment Solutions unit that sees it transferring clinical trial patients to its research sites from other trial facilities hit by COVID-19 disruption.