Enhancing infrastructure and expertise in Central and Eastern Europe
WILMINGTON, N.C. (February 9, 2009) - PPD, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPDI) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire AbC.R.O., Inc. (AbCRO), a contract research organization operating in Central and Eastern Europe, which will further strengthen PPD's presence in a high-growth, emerging region for clinical research.
The acquisition gains PPD immediate entry into Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia with established infrastructure and expertise, and also bolsters PPD's existing staff and operations in Poland, Russia and Ukraine.
Founded in 2000, AbCRO provides a full range of Phase II-IV clinical services, including clinical trial management and monitoring, patient recruitment, site identification and regulatory affairs. AbCRO employs more than 230 full-time professionals, many of whom have worked extensively with PPD over the past three years.
"Under the leadership of Dana A. Leff and Christa Pleasants, AbCRO has built a strong regional clinical research business and established a solid reputation in the region," said Fred Eshelman, chief executive officer of PPD. "This acquisition will strengthen our foothold in Central and Eastern Europe and enhance our ability to conduct global trials for our clients. We see many synergies with AbCRO and anticipate a relatively seamless integration, with many of the AbCRO employees already well-versed on basic PPD procedures and systems."
Ms. Leff, chief executive officer and co-founder of AbCRO, will oversee PPD's Central and Eastern European operations. Ms. Leff said, "While clinical research in Eastern Europe has grown tremendously, there are many possibilities for continued expansion. We look forward to combining our strong client base and expertise with PPD's global resources to build upon our immense growth in this region."
Ms. Pleasants, chairman and co-founder of AbCRO, will join PPD's clinical operations in the U.K. as a senior director.
PPD opened its first office in the region in 1995 and established its presence in Russia and Ukraine last year through its acquisition of InnoPharm, Ltd. The company is one of the largest CROs operating in the region, which offers well-trained investigators, a large pool of easily reachable patients, and a lower density of clinical trials compared to Western Europe and North America.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and obtaining regulatory approvals, and is expected to close on or about the end of the first quarter.
PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing discovery, development and post-approval services as well as compound partnering programs. Our clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 33 countries and approximately 10,500 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a commitment to quality to help its clients and partners maximize returns on their R&D investments and accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics to patients. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.ppdi.com.
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations and assumptions contained in this news release, including expectations and assumptions about the closing of this transaction, its contribution to PPD and PPD's future growth prospects in the region, are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although PPD attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors which could cause results to differ materially include the following: risks associated with acquisitions and investments, such as integration risks; competition within the outsourcing industry; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks associated with and dependence on collaborative relationships; continued success in sales growth; loss of large contracts; increased cancellation rates;economic conditions and outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government industry segments; risks associated with the development and commercialization of drugs, including earnings dilution and obtaining regulatory approval; rapid technological advances that make our products and services less competitive; risks that we may not continue our dividend policy; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for PPD, copies of which are available free of charge upon request from the PPD investor relations department.