Wilmington, N.C.-based contract research organization (CRO) PPD continues revamping its global operations with the appointment of Sebastian Pacios, M.D., hired to lead—as a senior vice president—the CRO’s European, Middle East and Africa operations.
Pacios has experience running trials in those regions, having served at PRA International as vice president of the company’s clinical research and project management in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Last year, PPD set out to break its phase II-IV operations into four separate territories: North America; Latin America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia. PPD has been steadily appointing new leaders to these regions since then.
PPD’s move is more evidence of the emphasis CROs are now putting on global expansion, as more sponsors push for overseas trials. 2007 saw significant CRO expansions into emerging markets as companies worked hard to keep up with pharma and biotech.
PPD had been criticized by analysts in July, including Jefferies & Company’s David Windley, for not capitalizing enough on trials outside the U.S. Windley changed his rating from “Buy” to “Hold” at that time.
“At this point, we are cautious about PPD’s disproportionately small percentage of revenue outside North America,” Windley had said in an analyst note last summer.
According to PPD, about one-third of its revenue is generated outside of the U.S.
The criticism apparently resonated. The CRO’s global restructuring began in October 2007 when PPD appointed Paul Colvin as senior vice president of clinical operations for North America and Simon Britton as vice president of operations for Asia. Colvin joined PPD after 14 years with Eli Lilly, most recently he oversaw clinical operations and global patient enrollment optimization. Britton served seven years at GlaxoSmithKline. For a time he was head of international clinical operations, managing the company’s global clinical operations group across 25 countries.
One month later, Jose Luis Viramontes, M.D., was hired to head the company’s drug development services in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Viramontes came to PPD after 14 years with Merck Sharp & Dohme Mexico. He was most recently clinical research associate director at the company.
In December, Philip Mathew, M.D., was hired to lead all operations and expansions in India. The company has also launched a second office in Mumbai, located in the Dynasty Business Park in the Northern part of the city. Prior to PPD, Mathew was associate medical director at Covance and had served as a principal investigator with MDS Pharma Services...
In November, PPD also opened new offices on four continents. The company launched offices in Sydney, Australia; Copenhagen, Denmark; Lima, Peru and Lisbon, Portugal.