WILMINGTON, N.C.—Drug development contractor Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc. (PPD) recently finalized its acquisition of BioDuro LLC, a drug discovery outsourcing company focused on integrated drug discovery programs and services.
With this acquisition, PPD now employs more than 1,400 in the Asia Pacific region and nearly 1,000 people in China, making it the largest contract research organization (CRO) to offer clinical development and discovery services in the country.
"Our acquisition of BioDuro positions us to capitalize on the tremendous growth in Asia Pacific and to become the CRO of choice in China," says David Grange, CEO of PPD. "BioDuro has a premier reputation for delivering quality service and has built an exceptional team of researchers and scientists. We are very pleased to welcome BioDuro's 660 employees into PPD."
PPD paid approximately $77 million in cash to acquire BioDuro.
With offices in 38 countries and more than 10,500 professionals worldwide, PPD applies technologies, therapeutic expertise and a commitment to quality to help its clients and partners maximize returns on their R&D investments and accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics to patients.
Grange points out that the Asia Pacific is a region of tremendous growth and an area PPD has targeted for expansion.
"BioDuro is a drug discovery outsourcing company that provides a broad range of integrated drug discovery services to biopharmaceutical companies," he says. "According to Barclays Capital, the drug discovery R&D market is $20.2 billion with $1.6 billion being outsourced today. That number is expected to grow to $5 to $10 billion, from 8 percent to 30-50 percent, in the next three to five years, and we see significant growth for China specifically."
Grange also notes that the acquisition advances PPD's goal of becoming a leading full -service CRO for the biopharmaceutical industry in China.
"PPD now employs nearly 1,000 people in China, making us the largest CRO to offer clinical development and discovery services in the country," Grange says. "We are well-positioned to capitalize on the tremendous growth in clinical research that the country is experiencing."
As part of the acquisition, Grange says that BioDuro's employees and facilities will be retrained.
"BioDuro has approximately 660 people, most of who are based in Beijing, where it operates a 110,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art laboratory," he says.
As a strong financial company with no debt, Grange also points out that PPD has the flexibility to evaluate multiple strategies, and "We will continue to make investments in Asia Pacific that bring a strong return for the company."
Measuring success of the acquisition won't be too difficult, according to Grange.
"BioDuro works with more than 40 biopharmaceutical clients, including nine of the 12 largest pharmaceutical companies," he says. "Together, PPD and BioDuro have the expertise to perform a broad range of research and development services for large pharmaceutical clients from early stage through Phase IV. Acquiring BioDuro expands our ability to work with clients in drug discovery and allows us to deliver on our clients' needs in this growing region."
China is seen as a marketing opportunity for many companies especially those that do research trials for drug makers because of its large potential patient population and centralized hospitals.
PPD opened its Beijing office in 2003 and provides a broad range of clinical services to clients in this region. In early 2008, PPD expanded its global central lab services into China through an exclusive agreement with Peking Union Lawke Biomedical Development Limited (PUL). The agreement allowed PPD to provide biopharmaceutical clients with a full range of highly customized central lab services.
In late 2009, PPD acquired Excel PharmaStudies, the market leader and one of the largest contract research organizations in China. The acquisition strengthened the company's full range of drug development services in the country and positions it to capitalize on the tremendous growth of the outsourcing market in Asia Pacific.
In addition to its footprint in Beijing and Hong Kong, PPD has offices in India, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.