Adding cell and gene therapy capabilities to support growing customer need
PPD, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPD), a leading global contract research organization, is expanding its Athlone, Ireland, GMP (good manufacturing practices) laboratory, significantly increasing the size of its current facility and adding cell and gene therapy testing to the operation's portfolio of services.
The expansion enhances PPD's ability to deliver global scientific and technical expertise to meet growing customer demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. By offering these services at its Athlone operation, PPD can provide clients in these locations with the same services already available in the U.S. through its Middleton, Wisconsin, GMP lab.
"Our enlarged operations will enhance our capabilities in leading technologies related to biopharmaceutical testing and specialty testing for biologics and small molecules," said Christopher Fikry, M.D., executive vice president of PPD Laboratories. "This expansion will enable PPD to provide customers with additional services aimed at reducing time to market for new drug products in important areas such as cell and gene therapies. We are thankful our expansion has been welcomed and supported by the Irish government and IDA Ireland, and we're confident these new developments will benefit our customers."
The Athlone GMP lab provides fully integrated analytical services across all phases of pharmaceutical development and commercialization, helping clients fulfill regulatory requirements for release testing and qualified person (QP) services for clinical and marketed pharmaceuticals, including small and large molecules, inhaled products, and cell and gene therapies.
The current 4,460 sq. meter (48,000 sq. foot) operation will grow to 7,710 sq. meters (83,000 sq. feet) upon completion of the project, which is expected to be fully functional by mid-2022 and is projected to create 180 new jobs over the next three years. The current operation employs nearly 300 highly skilled scientists and project managers who support the demand for PPD's services, which includes testing to support the development of novel and advanced pharmaceuticals and therapies.
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD said: "I'm really pleased that PPD is continuing to invest in its Athlone operations in an expansion that will create 180 jobs over three years and significantly add to the capabilities of the company's current facility. This is a really positive development for Athlone and the Midlands Region."
Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with responsibility for Trade Promotion Robert Troy TD said: "I am delighted to see PPD announce plans to expand its presence in Athlone. This is a significant expansion, which will result in the creation of 180 jobs for highly skilled scientists. This announcement demonstrates that Athlone and the Midlands region have the skills, talent, people and connectivity that will enable companies like PPD to embed and grow their operations here. Regional job creation is a key priority of this Government and we will be working to secure further investment for all regions in the months and years ahead."
CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan added: "Today's announcement by PPD demonstrates the company's commitment to Ireland and indeed the Midlands Region where it has been in operation for more than 10 years. It will allow the company to avail itself of the rich talent pool that exists in the Midlands and will provide an economic and employment boost to the local and wider Midlands region. We wish PPD continued success."
In addition to the lab in Athlone, PPD Laboratories includes GMP labs in Middleton, Wisconsin; bioanalytical labs in Middleton and Richmond, Virginia; central labs in Shanghai, China, Brussels, Belgium, Highland Heights, Kentucky, and Singapore; biomarker labs in Highland Heights and Richmond; a vaccine sciences lab in Richmond; and a multipurpose bioanalytical, biomarker and vaccine sciences lab that is nearing completion in Suzhou, China.
PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services. Our customers include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 47 countries and more than 27,000 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a firm commitment to quality to help customers bend the cost and time curve of drug development and optimize value in delivering life-changing therapies to improve health. For more information, visit www.ppd.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. These statements often include words such as "expect," "believe," "project," "forecast," "estimate," "target" and other similar expressions. Although we believe these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions at the time they are made, you should be aware that many factors could affect our actual financial results, and therefore actual results might differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might materially affect such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the fragmented and highly competitive nature of the drug development services industry; changes in trends in the biopharmaceutical industry; our ability to keep pace with rapid technological changes that could make our services less competitive or obsolete; political, economic and/or regulatory influences and changes; the risks related to the planned acquisition of PPD by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.; and other factors disclosed under the "Risk Factors" section in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our latest Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is available on our website at https://investors.ppd.com or the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. We assume no obligation and disclaim any duty to revise or update any forward-looking statements, or make any new forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
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