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PPD expands Vaccine Development Laboratory

Friday, May 19, 2017

Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), a global CRO, has expanded its vaccine sciences lab in Richmond, Virginia, enhancing its ability to provide capabilities to meet biopharmaceutical clients’ growing research needs.

The laboratory expansion continues PPD’s ongoing investments in its Richmond facilities, which also include significant enhancements to its genomics, immunochemistry and automation services in recent years. PPD’s lab operations in Richmond employ nearly 700 people, including Ph.D.-level scientists, analytical laboratory staff and other scientific professionals.

“The recent expansion of our vaccine sciences lab, coupled with previous enhancements to our biologics capabilities, builds on three decades of drug development expertise to support pharmaceutical and vaccine programs from pre-clinical through post-approval,” said Bob Nicholson, senior vice president of PPD Laboratories. “During that time, we have helped our clients earn FDA approval for 15 vaccine programs and countless pharmaceuticals. We’re confident our laboratory enhancements will enable us to build on that record of success for our customers.”

With nearly 17,000 square feet of new vaccines laboratory space, PPD has added significant capacity for vaccine efficacy testing using techniques such as cell-based assays and immunochemistry.

PPD Laboratories’ vaccine sciences lab, with its unique capabilities within the CRO industry, offers an extensive portfolio of services that support vaccine development. Most notably, those include method development, qualification and validation; extensive statistical and regulatory expertise; and high-throughput, automated and/or multiplex assays. The lab has diverse experience with multiple assay formats, including molecular genomics, immunology, cell-based and functional assays.

The vaccine sciences lab is part of PPD’s Richmond bioanalytical lab, which provides services such as small molecule, biologics and biomarker testing capabilities for all phases of drug development. PPD Laboratories’ operation in Richmond, elements of which have been in operation since 1985, has added about 50,000 square feet in recent years and now totals nearly 200,000 square feet, making it one of the largest bioanalytical labs in the world. Specific drug testing services offered at the lab include: understanding the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) of a drug; measuring in vivo absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of the parent drug and its metabolites; monitoring for adverse drug reaction; in vivo ADME testing; dose escalation and ranging studies; immunogenicity; and immune response.

In addition to the vaccine sciences, bioanalytical and biomarker labs in Richmond, PPD Laboratories includes: a bioanalytical lab in Middleton, Wisconsin; GMP (good manufacturing practices) labs in Athlone, Ireland, and Middleton; central labs in Shanghai, China; Brussels, Belgium; Highland Heights, Kentucky; and Singapore; and a biomarker lab in Highland Heights. 

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