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Type Private
Industry Clinical Research
Founded Year 1985
Slogan Helping Deliver Life-Changing Therapies
Headquarters Wilmington, NC
Key people David Simmons
Number of employees 19,000+


1985: PPD was founded by Fred Eshelman, Pharm. D. as a one-person consulting firm. 1986: Development Services was included in the company's scope. 1995: The company expands to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa by acquiring Gabbay Group, a Clinical Research Organization (CRO) in the UK. 1996: PPD acquires Applied BioScience International, which included Pharmaco and several European regional drug development companies; and expands to Latin America with the acquisition of Brazil-based CRO 1997: Expands to the Asia Pacific with the opening of Australia office. PPD is the first CRO company to offer drug discovery services. 2002: The company further expands with the acquisition of Medical Research Laboratories International, adding central lab services in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to its offerings for clients. During this year, PPD also acquires ProPharma, an Asian-based CRO. This has significantly strengthened PPD’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region. 2007: By this year, PPD already has 10,000+ employees globally. 2008: PPD purchases InnoPharm, a CRO based in Russia, further expanding PPD’s global reach with offices located in Russia and Ukraine. 2009: PPD acquires AbCRO, �a CRO in Central �and Eastern Europe and also some companies in China, strengthening PPD’s presence in these high-growth regions for clinical research. 2010: Its compound partnering division was spinned off as Furiex Pharmaceuticals, an independent company. 2011: Acquisition of the company by affiliates of The Carlyle Group and affiliates of Hellman & Friedman. 2013: Acquires Acurian which is a leading full-service provider of clinical trial patient enrollment and retention solutions. 2014: The company announces its agreement to form PPD-SN8L, a joint venture providing a full range of clinical services in Japan. 2016: PPD acquires Evidera, a leading provider of evidence-based solutions, establishing itself as a global leader in research.

Drug Development

Drug discovery occurs when a new compound is developed that addresses a specific disease target. After scientists identify a potentially viable drug candidate in the early drug discovery process, that compound proceeds to laboratory testing against specific targets to determine its effect.

Most compounds are eliminated as they proceed from the discovery to the human development phase.

It is estimated that for every 10,000 compounds that enter the drug discovery pipeline, only 250 will progress to pre-clinical development (2.5-5%), 5 will move forward into human testing, Phase I studies (0.1-0.5%), and only a single compound will survive to be an approved drug (0.01%).

Of that single, FDA-approved drug, only 3 out of every 10 compounds that receive regulatory approval earn a profit. However, only 1 out of 10 approved medicines becomes what the pharmaceutical industry defines as a “blockbuster” - a drug that earn more than $1 billion a year - and earns enough profit to fund further industry research.

These numbers represent the average success rate across all therapeutic areas.

Stage 1: Discovery and Development: Research for a new drug begins in the laboratory. Stage 2: Preclinical Research: Drugs undergo laboratory and animal testing to answer basic questions about safety. Stage 3: Clinical Research: Drugs are tested on people to make sure they are safe and effective. Stage 4: FDA Review: FDA review teams thoroughly examine all of the submitted data related to the drug or device and make a decision to approve or not to approve it. Stage 5: FDA Post-Market Safety Monitoring: FDA monitors all drug and device safety once products are available for use by the public.

Contract Research Organizations (CROs) have a significant contribution to the entire drug and medical product development, according to the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO). CROs provide a variety of clinical trial services and conduct multiple other activities to aid sponsor companies such as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the development and subsequent release of new drugs to the market.

Sponsors of drug development research rely on CROs to help reduce costs and shorten timelines in delivering new drug products. Global CROs have the capacity to provide worldwide infrastructure, extensive therapeutic expertise and the ability to manage large, complex trials.

CROs can offer a variety of drug development services including clinical trial management; clinical, medical and safety monitoring; clinical laboratory services for processing trial samples; data management, biostatistics and medical writing for submission to a regulatory agency; regulatory affairs support and others.

PPD, as one of the leading global CROs, offers a myriad of services through the entire drug development process such as early development, clinical development, lab services, consulting services, etc.


Pharmacovigilance is defined as the science and relating to the detection, assessment and the prevention of adverse effects or any other medicine-related issues.

Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other medicine-related problem.

Before a drug product can be approved for marketing, evidence of its safety and efficacy should be obtained from clinical trials .

After marketing approval, the medicine may be used in a large number of patients, for a long period of time and with other medicines. Certain side effects may emerge in such circumstances.

It is therefore essential that the safety of all medicines is monitored throughout their use in healthcare practice.

PPD comprises a team of more than 700 pharmacovigilance professionals worldwide which can provide 24/7/365 availability and is fully focused on identifying and applying valuable insights based on pharmacovigilance needs.

PPD’s pharmacovigilance staff provides: Organizational stability arising from the company's years of experience in the industry Expertise from extensive onboarding and continuous training processes Firsthand knowledge of complex regulatory requirements


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Top 5 Recent News Headlines

PPD recognized for leadership in clinical research

Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) has been recognized for excellence in clinical research by pharmaceutical and biotechnology executives surveyed for Life Science Leader magazine’s 2017 CRO Leadership Awards.

PPD earned high honors in all of the five distinct categories: capabilities, compatibility, expertise, quality and reliability. The results are based on survey responses from biopharmaceutical industry leaders responsible for making or influencing decisions to collaborate with CROs on clinical development programs.

PPD’s comprehensive offerings range from integrated early development through post-market services and PPD Laboratories, offering the most comprehensive lab services available in the industry.

“PPD is committed to accelerating the generation of evidence necessary for our customers to bring life-changing therapies to society,” said David Simmons, chairman and CEO of PPD. “Pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients can rely on our expertise and tailored, quality-first services across phase I-IV and post-approval research, with integrated and comprehensive laboratory services and industry leadership in site and patient relationships. Our strategically expanded service offerings help ensure our clients’ evolving needs are met with precision and high quality across the drug development continuum.”

The survey for the 2017 CRO Leadership Awards, which encompassed 27 performance metrics, was conducted by Industry Standard Research, a full-service pharmaceutical market research firm, to help Life Science Leader assess the performance of CROs. (Reference: http://www.centerwatch.com/news-online/2017/05/29/ppd-recognized-leadership-clinical-research/) PPD In The News CenterWatch Logo Changing the face of the clinical trials industry Chris Clendening and Brent Reed discuss the PPD® Laboratories Preclarus® investigator site portal and companion mobile application, which were acknowledged for industry leadership in the CenterWatch Monthly 25th anniversary special edition, which spotlights top innovators in clinical research.

Top 5 Lifetime Tweets

Top 5 Lifetime News Headlines


1. http://www.ppdi.com

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