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PPD Expands Facility, Capabilities In Ireland

By Jenny Callison, posted Jan 28, 2015
PPD has expanded two parts of its facility in central Ireland to better serve its international clients, the company said Wednesday.

The Wilmington-based clinical research organization announced the completed expansion of its clinical supplies facility in Athlone. By more than tripling the size of the facility, a news release stated, the company will be able to double its packaging warehousing capabilities and quadruple its distribution services.

It’s all part of PPD’s long-term strategy to expand its global depot network, which currently consists of five supply depots: the Athlone facility and others in China, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine, the release stated.

PPD also oversees a number of third-party depots around the world, company spokesman Randy Buckwalter said in an email.

The expansion of PPD's clinical supplies facility in Athlone was an "important investment in the continued growth of our global operations,” Susan Atkinson, PPD’s senior vice president of global biometrics, said in the release.

“Our ability to expand our support of clinical trials enables us to meet our clients’ growing demand for these services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa," she said. "This strategic location makes it operationally and financially efficient to ship supplies to any of those countries, often directly to investigative sites, which can result in faster turnaround at lower cost for our clients, and more efficient and effective operations for PPD.”

Last week, PPD announced the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities in Ireland with the addition of a new laboratory for cell-based assays at its Athlone facility.

“This expanded capability enhances the company’s ability to deliver global scientific and technical expertise with expanded laboratory capacity to meet growing client demand for these services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Asia-Pacific region,” the Jan. 21 news release stated. “By adding these services to its Athlone operation, PPD is able to provide clients in these locations with the same services already available in the U.S. through its Middleton, Wisconsin, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) lab.”

Buckwalter said in his email that the lab is staffing up, and that PPD expects to add a total of about 30 people to its operations in Athlone within the next year.

PPD opened its facility in Athlone – located on the River Shannon in the Irish Midlands region – in 2010.

“As we have found since opening the Athlone operations five years ago, Ireland offers a business-friendly climate, highly skilled workforce (through close proximity to the Athlone Institute of Technology) and strong support from the Irish Government, in particular, IDA Ireland [the country’s economic development entity],” Buckwalter said in the email. “The facility is strategically located to clients we serve throughout Europe and the Middle East, as well as our U.S. clients with marketed products in Europe.”
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