Pharmaceutical Product Development is expanding its lab services business into one of the world’s largest markets – China.

PPD (Nasdaq: PPDI), a global contract research organization and drug-development firm, signed a partnership agreement with Peking Union Lawke Biomedical Development Ltd. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Chinese law makes it extremely difficult to export lab samples to other countries for testing," said Agostino Fede, who directs PPD’s global central labs operation. "Our agreement with PUL expands our global central lab capabilities in a high-growth clinical research market. It also saves our clients time and money by providing lab results more quickly without incurring expenses for exporting shipments."

PPD made an undisclosed investment in lab equipment located in Beijing at the country’s largest life sciences park. It is identical to equipment PPD uses for testing in Belgium and Kentucky. The equipment also will be linked to PPD’s own proprietary computer system, the company said.

PPD already operates a clinical trials business in China.