Pharmaceutical Product Development

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Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC.
Industry Contract research organizations
Founded 1985
Headquarters Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
Key people
See Principal Officers page of the PPD Website[1]
Products Contract clinical research for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations; services include discovery, development, lifecycle management and laboratory services.
Number of employees
20,000 (2017)

The Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD) is a global contract research organization (CRO) providing comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services. The company’s clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations.


PPD was founded by Fred Eshelman, Pharm.D., as a one-person consulting firm in 1985. The following year he expanded the company's scope to include development services and relocated operations from Maryland to North Carolina.

  • July 1985: Fred Eshelman, Pharm.D., founds PPD as a one-person consulting firm based in his home in Maryland.
  • 1986: Eshelman expands the company and relocates operations to Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • Jan. 1989: The company incorporates in North Carolina.
  • Jan. 1996: PPD issues its initial public stock offering and begins trading on the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol PPDI.
  • Oct. 2005: PPD’s board of directors adopts an annual cash dividend policy.
  • July 2009: The company promotes Eshelman to executive chairman and names David Grange chief executive officer.
  • Jan. 2010: The company commemorates the 25th anniversary of its founding.
  • June 2010: PPD spins off its compound partnering division as a new and independent publicly traded company, Furiex Pharmaceuticals.
  • May 2011: David Grange retires as chief executive officer of PPD.[2]
  • Sept. 2011: PPD’s board of directors names Raymond Hill as PPD’s new chief executive officer.
  • Dec. 2011: The company is acquired by affiliates of The Carlyle Group and affiliates of Hellman & Friedman in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.9 billion.[3]
  • May 2012: PPD’s board of directors names David Simmons as chairman and CEO.[4]
  • Aug. 2013: PPD acquires Acurian, a full-service provider of clinical trial patient enrollment and retention solutions.[5]
  • Dec. 2014: PPD announces an agreement with SNBL to form a joint venture to provide full range of clinical development services in Japan.[6]
  • May 2015: PPD expands network of U.S.-based research sites via strategic relationship with Radiant.
  • June 2016: PPD expands network of global research sites via strategic relationship with Synexus.
  • Sept. 2016: PPD acquires Evidera, a provider of evidence-based solutions for real-world research.[7]
  • April 2017: Hellman & Friedman and affiliates of The Carlyle Group enter into definitive agreements to recapitalize PPD and expand the company’s ownership to include two new investors, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and an affiliate of GIC Private Limited, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.[8]
  • May 2018: Forbes names PPD to its list of America’s best large employers.[9]


PPD maintains its worldwide headquarters in Wilmington, N.C. The company has approximately 20,000 employees and offices in 47 countries.


PPD provides drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services.

PPD provides a full range of custom-tailored client solutions, including full-service partnerships, functional service partnerships and PPD® Biotech, which offers the personalized approach of a boutique CRO for biotech and small to midsize pharma companies.

Early Development Services[edit]

PPD offers a broad range of early development services, early phase clinical trial services and nonclinical consulting. PPD’s early development operations include a 300-bed healthy volunteer (Phase I) clinical research unit in Austin, Texas, and a 24-bed clinical research unit in Las Vegas, Nevada, that accommodates both healthy and patient volunteers.

Clinical Development Services[edit]

PPD provides product development and post-approval services for biopharmaceuticals and devices, as well as full-service Phase II-IIIb clinical studies for multinational regulatory submissions. Over the past five years, the company has conducted more than 2,500 clinical trials around the world. PPD’s services include project management, sites and patients, biostatistics, data management, trial monitoring, feasibility studies, functional service partnerships, medical communications/writing, regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance.

Peri- and Post-approval Services[edit]

The company’s peri- and post-approval services include real-world evidence, registries and interventional studies, risk evaluation and mitigation studies, pragmatic/adaptive studies, patient-centered research, epidemiology, health economics and consumer health.

Laboratory Services[edit]

PPD® Laboratories provides a comprehensive set of services that includes good manufacturing practices (GMP), bioanalytical, central lab, biomarkers and vaccine sciences services.

Consulting Services[edit]

PPD® Consulting offers such services as product development, adaptive trial design, pediatrics, biosimilars, cardiovascular outcomes, medical devices and rare diseases.


  1. ^ "Principal Officers". Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  2. ^ William Faulkner (May 20, 2011). "David Grange retires as CEO of PPD". Wilmington StarNews.
  3. ^ Peter Lattman (October 3, 2011). "Buyout Firms to Buy Drug Research Company for $3.9 Billion". New York Times.
  4. ^ William Faulkner (May 23, 2012). "PPD names new CEO". Wilmington StarNews.
  5. ^ "PPD Acquires Acurian, Industry Leader in Patient Recruitment and Retention". August 27, 2013.
  6. ^ John Murawski (December 24, 2014). "PPD enters into joint venture with Japanese company". The News & Observer.
  7. ^ Ben Adams (September 8, 2016). "PPD ties off Evidera merger deal, establishes 'real world research' leader". FierceBiotech.
  8. ^ "PPD to Recapitalize with Existing Owners and Investors". April 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "Forbes Recognizes PPD as One of America's Best Large Employers". May 23, 2018.

External links[edit]