PPD beefs up its Irish outpost with a new biologics lab

PPD has amped up the biologics capabilities at its Irish manufacturing operation, opening a new lab devoted to the development of large-molecule treatments.

The new operation, sitting within PPD's Athlone, Ireland, facility, will focus on bioassays, which are tests designed to verify the potency and stability of biopharmaceuticals. The CRO has long offered such services in the U.S., but opening the new lab across the Atlantic will allow it to better serve biologics developers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, the company said.

PPD has operated the Athlone site since 2010, and the new lab will sit alongside space for product development, analytical testing, quality assurance and manufacturing of various dose forms. Once the expansion is complete, the CRO expects to employ about 150 people in Athlone.

David Johnston

"The expansion of our GMP laboratory represents PPD's ongoing investment toward continued growth of our operations in Ireland in order to offer enhanced service capabilities to our growing client base in this region and throughout the world," David Johnston, PPD vice president of global lab services, said in a statement.

The move is the latest in a string of efforts through which PPD is working to expand its presence on the market for development services. Earlier this month, the company launched a joint venture with Japan's Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories, teaming up on clinical research in that country. In December, the CRO partnered 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 company acquired technology provider Acurian to better focus on clinical trial enrollment and retention services.

- read the statement

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