The expansion – which Covance claims will create 100 new jobs over the next five years – is designed to cater for growing drug industry demand for early-pharma development services for biopharmaceuticals.
Deborah Keller, executive VP of Covance’s R&D labs, said that: “Doubling our large molecule capacity and enhancing a leading team with additional dedicated scientific experts with proven success in managing through these complexities will further strengthen our leadership position in a growing market.”
She added that: “Our new biologics solutions will enable us to work in closer collaboration with our clients, providing them actionable insights to help expedite their large molecule development.”
The contract research organization (CRO) has also appointed Mike Holsapple, past president of the society of toxicology, as its executive director of global immunotoxicology, citing the moves as a further expansion of its biologics offering.
The expansion is in keeping with other moves towards the biopharmaceutical sector that Covance made last year.
In May, Covance said it intended to further leverage its “market-leading lead optimization abilities,” following its 2009 acquisition of Eli Lilly’s Greenfield, Indiana laboratory for $50m.
The facility – which was sold off as part of Eli Lilly’s move towards a more outsourcing-focused R&D model – houses capacity for toxicology, in vivo pharmacology and other preclinical services for biopharmaceutical and small molecule drug development.
And In November, Covance partnered with Pathoquest in an accord focused on the provision of viral contaminant testing services for manufacturers of biologic drugs.
A few weeks later the CRO teamed with NeoGenomics in a deal designed to allow its biopharmaceutical industry customers to access the latter’s range of pathology and histology services.