PPD has entered into an agreement to acquire Excel PharmaStudies, one of the largest contract research organizations (CROs) in China, providing PPD additional capacity and expertise in the rapidly growing clinical research market.
The deal also significantly increases its employee and client base in Asia Pacific, the company said. Excel has more than 300 employees. Excel will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of PPD.
The acquisition strengthens PPD's ability to offer phase II-IV clinical, data management, biostatistics, regulatory and quality assurance services in China. The company said combining its drug development expertise with its global central laboratory operations in Beijing and Singapore positions PPD to deliver a broad set of services to biopharmaceutical companies in China, Japan and throughout the region.
"Biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly including China and Japan in their drug development programs because of the rapid growth of these markets," said David Grange, CEO of PPD.
Founded in 2000, Excel provides a range of phase II-IV clinical services, including regulatory affairs, patient recruitment, protocol design, feasibility studies, good clinical practice training and program management. Excel has worked from more than 15 cities throughout China and operates a vaccine research center and biometrics center, both of which are located in Taizhou.
After the acquisition closes, Excel's employees will join PPD, and Mark Engel, co-founder, will work exclusively with PPD as a strategic consultant.
"We look forward to combining Excel's strong operational expertise and relationships in China with PPD's global discovery, development and laboratory capabilities to deliver a comprehensive range of services that meets our clients' complete drug development needs,” Engel said.
The acquisition is subject to various closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.
For more information on the clinical trials market in China, see CenterWatch's latest special report,
China: A New Era of Innovation in Drug Development.