WILMINGTON,PPD is beefing up its management team with two new executives at the same time the pharmaceutical and contract research firm reports a surge in quarterly earnings.

William Richardson joins PPD as senior vice president of global business development. He replaces Frank Casieri, who had planned to step down from that role and remains a part-time employee for an interim period, PPD said. Richardson served most recently as executive vice president of sales at Mylan Bertek.

Agostino Fede, meanwhile, joins PPD as vice president of global central labs. That organization had been known as Medical Research Laboratories International, which PPD acquired in 2002.

Fede served most recently as vice president of operations and sales director for Covance Central Laboratories in Europe and as chief executive officer and founder of Vizyo S.A., a drug development informatics firm in Switzerland.

Fede will take over direction of the labs unit when current president Joseph Stanek retires in March of next year, PPD said.

In its third-quarter earnings report, PPD reported a near-27 percent surge in net revenue to $215.8 million over the same period in 2004. Third quarter earnings per share rose to 66 cents, up from 44 the previous year.

PPD (Nasdaq: PPDI) shares closed at $64.15 on Wednesday.

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