Thursday, November 4, 2010

PPD to expand former Merck vaccine-testing lab in Wayne

"PPD Inc., a North Carolina-based contract research organization, plans to expand a Tredyffrin Township laboratory it bought from Merck & Co. Inc. at the end of 2008 and create 86 jobs.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development announced Wednesday that the state would provide $608,000 in funding for a $25 million project planned by PPD.

When PPD acquired the 130,000-square-foot vaccine-testing laboratory in Chester County from Merck, it hired the lab's 80 employees. According to a statement issued by the state, PPD intends to renovate the lab at 466 Devon Park Drive, buy new equipment and provide employee training.

The company would create at least 86 jobs within three years, according to the state.

Under its transaction with Merck, PPD agreed to supply testing services to Merck for five years. According to PPD's 2008 annual report, it paid $25.2 million for Merck's lab.

With revenues of $1.42 billion in 2009, PPD is one of the largest providers of outsourced services to the pharmaceutical industry. It employs more than 10,500 people worldwide.

"With a large concentration of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies based in the northeastern United States, expanding our laboratory operations in Wayne builds on our ability to serve clients in this region more effectively," said Lee Babiss, PPD's executive vice president of global laboratory services, in the statement.

Pennsylvania provided a $275,000 opportunity grant, $74,700 in job training assistance, and $258,000 in job creation tax credits."

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