PPD signs a pair of federal deals for battlefield health, flu readiness

Privately held CRO PPD scored two federal contracts tasking it with helping to improve health outcomes for active-duty soldiers and aiding with the government's stockpile of flu vaccines.

In the first deal, the U.S. Army has tapped PPD to handle product R&D to help improve care for personnel on the battlefield, the company said. The contract has a base period of 5 years comprised of individual, year-long projects, according to the CRO, and it can be extended indefinitely.

In the second deal, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) picked PPD to evaluate the potency and stability of influenza vaccines in the national stockpile, a contract that lasts at least two years and could run as long as 5.

PPD has worked with the U.S. government on more 1,500 projects related to public health and drug development, the company said, spanning infectious diseases, vaccines, biodefense and autoimmune disorders.

"Our integrated services, including deep clinical and laboratory expertise, enable us to provide the medical and technical knowledge necessary to help ensure these vital programs succeed," Chief Operating Officer Bill Sharbaugh said in a statement.

PPD, headquartered in North Carolina, has been working to expand its presence on the global market for R&D, signing a string of deals over the last two years to broaden its service offerings.

Last month, PPD partnered with clinical trial software provider Cisys LifeSciences to get its hands on technology the company believes can improve the process by which investigators examine and adjudicate safety events. In 2014, the CRO partnered with the data collection experts at ERT and bought out the discovery-focused outfit X-Chem in an acquisition designed to bolster its early-stage capacity. And the year before, PPD acquired technology provider Acurian to better focus on clinical trial enrollment and retention services.

- read the statement