PPD expands Merck ties with vax testing deal

The CRO PPD has broadened its ties with Merck after completing a vaccine testing deal that includes buying the pharma company's 130,000-square foot plant in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

PPD will hire 80 Merck workers as part of the pact. And PPD will provide Merck with assay development and immunogenicity testing services to support Merck's vaccine portfolio over a period of five years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We believe strategic outsourcing is key to the future of R&D and represents an innovative approach to the challenges facing our pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients," said PPD's CEO, Fred Eshelman. "This collaboration with Merck represents a unique opportunity for us to acquire leading scientific talent and state-of-the-art facilities, expand an existing relationship with a longtime client and offer a new service line to other customers in the growing vaccine market."

- read the release for more