PPD Expands GMP Lab Services in Athlone, Ireland

Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD), has expanded its good manufacturing practices (GMP) laboratory operations in Athlone, Ireland, as part of its ongoing efforts to meet clients’ capacity needs and enhance its range of lab services offerings.

The lab, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, has added 400 square meters (4,300 square feet) of new laboratory space for analytical testing of biopharmaceuticals and inhalation devices. The Athlone GMP facility now totals more than 3,800 square meters (41,500 square feet) of analytical testing and support space.

“The expansion of the Athlone GMP lab represents our ongoing investment in the continued growth of our contract research operations in Ireland and around the world to provide our clients with best-in-class laboratory services and state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation,” said David Johnston, Ph.D., executive vice president of global laboratory services for PPD®Laboratories. “Our ability to deliver global scientific, technical and development expertise with expanded laboratory capacity enables us to meet the growing demand for these services in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.”

The Athlone GMP lab provides fully integrated solutions for pharmaceutical product development, including analytical testing services, method development and validation, stability testing, and quality control and release testing. The operation also provides regulatory services, product licensing and marketed product support, including qualified person (QP) services for all drug dosage forms, with particular emphasis on inhalation and biopharmaceutical products.

PPD Laboratories opened its Athlone laboratory in 2010 and, with the completion of this latest expansion, will employ nearly 200 people at the facility, including Ph.D.-level scientists, analytical laboratory staff and other clinical development professionals. PPD Laboratories maintains another GMP lab in Middleton, Wisconsin, that offers all the same services as the Athlone lab. In total, PPD employs more than 1,300 people in its global GMP operations.

“PPD has been a valuable member of Ireland’s business community, and particularly the Athlone region, since opening its world-class facility in 2010,” said Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor of Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation. “Through this facility and the people it employs here, PPD plays an important role in maintaining the economic vitality of our Midlands region and developing the scientific, analytical, clinical and logistical skills of the professionals who support the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors in the Midlands life sciences cluster.”

“PPD’s expansion of its GMP operations in Athlone is warmly welcomed by IDA Ireland and adds to the continued growth of life sciences in the Midlands,” said Barry Heavey, Ph.D., IDA Ireland’s head of life sciences. “This is another important investment for a regional location, and IDA looks forward to working with PPD to ensure continued success and development.”

The Athlone lab is licensed by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) to support both investigational medicinal products and marketed products. It also is certified for quality control of medicinal products, including cell-based assay services for biologics.

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