PPD bets on Japan with new joint venture

PPD has signed a deal with service provider Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories to collaborate in Japan, pooling resources in a joint venture designed to tap the growing market for clinical research there.

Under the agreement, PPD will combine its existing Japanese clinical development operation with SNBL's research division, creating an outfit called PPD-SNBL. The American CRO will hold a majority stake of the venture, and SNBL Chairman Ryoichi Nagata will serve as its president.

Together, the two employ more than 400 clinical development workers across Tokyo, Osaka and Kagoshima, the companies said, and PPD-SNBL will be able to support studies from Phase I through IV.

David Simmons

"PPD is honored to be joining forces with SNBL to provide a unique clinical development service offering in Japan for biopharmaceutical clients," CEO David Simmons said in a statement. "PPD-SNBL will be one of the largest clinical development service providers in Japan, both for clients seeking to conduct global clinical trials and also for trials based solely in Japan, and builds on the shared commitment of both organizations to the delivery of high-quality clinical development services."

The deal, expected to close in April, is the latest in a string of moves through which PPD is working to expand its presence on the market. Last month, the CRO partnered up with the data collection experts at ERT, and, in September, PPD bought out the discovery-focused outfit X-Chem in an acquisition designed to bolster its early-stage capacity. Last year, the CRO acquired technology provider Acurian to better focus on clinical trial enrollment and retention services.

- read the statement

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