Life Science Giant PPD Cuts an Undisclosed Number of Jobs

PPD - Pharmaceutical Product Development

CRO giant Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC has terminated a number of employees in its human resources department, but has provided few details about the job cuts, according to reports.

Earlier this week, Raleigh-based WRAL reported that the undisclosed number of layoffs could be about half of the company’s HR department. The cuts hit the company’s Wilmington operations as well as its Research Triangle Park locations.

A PPD spokesperson told WRAL that the contract research organization has seen exponential growth over the past several years. Headcount has increased from about 11,000 to approximately 20,000. The spokesperson said PPD has expectations for continued growth across its global operations. In the interview with WRAL, the PPD spokesperson said the growth is being spurred in its clinical development and laboratory segments. The spokesperson added that although there were cuts in the HR department, there are “hundreds of job openings currently posted” for other departments.

"We are positioning PPD for continued growth, as clinical research is instrumental to medical innovation. As all companies must do, we routinely adjust and deploy our global workforce to best meet our clients’ needs and respond to marketplace conditions,” the spokesperson told WRAL.

The layoffs come on the heels of PPD’s winning a contract with the National Institutes of Health as well as a 17,000 square foot expansion of its vaccine sciences laboratory in Richmond, Va.

In October, PPD, which has a value of about $9 billion, was awarded a seven-year contract under the Clinical Research Support Services (CRSS) program of the Division of AIDS (DAIDS), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the NIH. PPD will provide a broad range of clinical and other related research support services for the NIAID/DAIDS-supported clinical research portfolio and other infectious diseases relevant to HIV-infected and at-risk populations.

In May, the company announced the Richmond expansion, which includes significant enhancements to the company’s genomics, immunochemistry and automation services. PPD said at the time the new space was announced that the decision will enhance the company’s “ability to provide industry-leading capabilities to meet biopharmaceutical clients’ growing research needs.”

Last year the Triangle Business Journal named PPD the best CRO.

PPD isn’t the only CRO to go through layoffs this year. In May, BioSpace reported that Massachusetts-based PAREXEL International announced a corporate restructuring that included the planned layoff of 1,100 to 1,200 jobs. In April, another CRO, Covance , owned by LabCorp, also announced plans to close a laboratory in Evansville, Ind. The company decision was expected to impact more than 100 employees.

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