WILMINGTON,PPD is purchasing the assets of the biomarker business developed by its partner SurroMed in a deal worth more than $30 million.

The companies announced the deal on Monday.

PPD will give up preferred stock worth $29 million that it had acquired from SurroMed in 2002 and 2003. PPD also agreed to assume leases valued at $3.4 million and guarantee SurroMed debt of $1.5 million.

SurroMed is based in Menlo Park, CA, and is privately held.

PPD had struck the earlier deal with SurroMed for $29 million in cash, tangible assets and rights to intellectual property.
The deal will represent a $1.5-$3 million after-tax gain for PPD in 2005, the company said.

Biomarkers are used in patient analysis to test for the progression of a disease, and changes can be documented to help create a profile for more effective use of drugs, PPD said. PPD executives believe the deal will help it in drug trials.

The Food and Drug Administration launched an initiative about biomarker technology in 2003.

“We believe the FDA initiative targeting the discovery of biomarkers to improve drug efficacy and safety evaluations will result in accelerated client interest and demand,” said Fred Eshelman, chief executive officer of PPD, in a statement.

SurroMed said the company would now focus on Nanotechnology.

PPD: www.ppdi.com