PPD Announces Plans to Acquire AbCRO

February 9, 2009. PPD, Inc. (NASDAQ:PPDI) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire AbC.R.O., Inc. (AbCRO), a contract research organization operating in Central and Eastern Europe, which will further strengthen PPD’s presence in a high-growth, emerging region for clinical research. The acquisition gains PPD immediate entry into Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia with established infrastructure and expertise, and also bolsters PPD’s existing staff and operations in Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Founded in 2000, AbCRO provides a full range of Phase II-IV clinical services, including clinical trial management and monitoring, patient recruitment, site identification and regulatory affairs. AbCRO employs more than 230 full-time professionals, many of whom have worked extensively with PPD over the past three years.

“Under the leadership of Dana A. Leff and Christa Pleasants, AbCRO has built a strong regional clinical research business and established a solid reputation in the region,” said Fred Eshelman, chief executive officer of PPD. “This acquisition will strengthen our foothold in Central and Eastern Europe and enhance our ability to conduct global trials for our clients. We see many synergies with AbCRO and anticipate a relatively seamless integration, with many of the AbCRO employees already well-versed on basic PPD procedures and systems.”

Ms. Leff, chief executive officer and co-founder of AbCRO, will oversee PPD’s Central and Eastern European operations. Ms. Leff said, “While clinical research in Eastern Europe has grown tremendously, there are many possibilities for continued expansion. We look forward to combining our strong client base and expertise with PPD’s global resources to build upon our immense growth in this region.” Ms. Pleasants, chairman and co-founder of AbCRO, will join PPD’s clinical operations in the U.K. as a senior director.

Fairmount Partners Managing Director Neal McCarthy added “This is a great way for PPD to expand its leadership in Central and Eastern Europe, one of the fastest growing regions for clinical trials. PPD is adding a very talented group that has nearly 10 years of experience serving large pharma and biotech clients, both independently and with PPD and other major CROs.“ Fairmount Partners acted as advisor to AbCRO, Inc and assisted them in evaluating strategic alternatives and negotiating and structuring the transaction with PPD.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and obtaining regulatory approvals, and is expected to close on or about the end of the first quarter.

PPD opened its first office in the region in 1995 and established its presence in Russia and Ukraine last year through its acquisition of InnoPharm, Ltd. The company is one of the largest CROs operating in the region, which offers well-trained investigators, a large pool of easily reachable patients, and a lower density of clinical trials compared to Western Europe and North America.


PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing discovery, development and post-approval services as well as compound partnering programs. Our clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 33 countries and approximately 10,500 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a commitment to quality to help its clients and partners maximize returns on their R&D investments and accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics to patients.

Principals of Fairmount Partners acted as advisors to AbC.R.O., Inc. and its shareholders.

Fairmount Partners is a registered Broker Dealer, member FINRA (www.finra.org) and SIPC (www.sipc.org).

Contact: Neal McCarthy, Managing Director