Covance dials up its biologics offerings, adding 100 new jobs

Covance Executive Vice President Deborah Keller

Global CRO Covance ($CVD) is expanding its heft in biologics development, plotting to double its capacity over the next 5 years.

Responding to an increase in demand, the New Jersey-headquartered company said it's planning to add about 100 jobs as it builds out a large-molecule-focused central lab in Indiana. Once the bioanalytical space is complete, Covance will have effectively doubled its biologics footprint, the CRO said, and the expanded facility is expected to come online by year's end.

In tandem with the expansion, Covance has recruited toxicology expert Mike Holsapple to serve as its executive director of global immunotoxicology, recruiting the 30-plus-year veteran from his roles at Battelle Memorial Institute and Hepregen to lead its efforts in the field.

"Our new biologics solutions will enable us to work in closer collaboration with our clients, providing them actionable insights to help expedite their large-molecule development," Covance Executive Vice President Deborah Keller said in a statement. "Doubling our large-molecule capacity and enhancing a leading team with additional dedicated scientific experts with proven success in managing through these complexities will further strengthen our leadership position in a growing market."

Covance expects its investment in bioanalytic expertise to pay dividends in small-molecule development, too, and the CRO is projecting an annual revenue of jump of up to 10%, setting the high end for 2014 at $2.9 billion. Last year, the CRO posted $2.6 billion in sales, a 10% jump led by its late-stage business, and grew its profits by a whopping 89% to $179.2 million.

- read the statement