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Local Tech Wire

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Drug researcher PPD (NASDAQ:PPDI) said Wednesday that it is acquiring a Bejing-based biopharmaceutical service company, it’s second Chinese buyout this month.

PPD signed an agreement to acquire BioDuro LLC, a drug-discovery outsourcing company that provides a broad range of integrated services to biopharmaceutical companies, PPD announced.

No dollar figure was disclosed. The deal is expected to close by the end of the current quarter.

PPD recently acquired Excel PharmaStudies, one of the largest contract research organizations in China. After the BioDuro acquisition is completed, PPD will employ nearly 1,000 people in China.

Founded in 2005, BioDuro operates a 110,000-square-foot laboratory in Beijing. Most of its approximately 660 employees are based in China. PPD said the company provides expertise in medicinal chemistry, biology, pharmacology, drug metabolism, pharmacokinetic and safety services.

BioDuro currently works with nine of the 12 largest pharmaceutical companies. After the acquisition closes, PPD and BioDuro will perform a broad range of research and development services for large pharmaceutical clients from early stage through Phase IV.

"Under the leadership of Masood Tayebi and the entire senior management group, BioDuro has built an exceptional team of researchers and scientists whose experience extends across a broad range of drug discovery," said David Grange, chief executive officer of PPD.

According to Barclays Capital, biopharmaceutical companies spend $20.2 billion on drug discovery research annually, with $1.6 billion being outsourced today. That number is expected to grow to $5 to $10 billion in the next three to five years.

PPD opened its Beijing office in 2003. In 2008, it expanded its global central lab services into China through an exclusive agreement with Peking Union Lawke Biomedical Development Ltd. In addition to Beijing and Hong Kong, PPD has offices in India, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea and Japan and has more than 400 people in Asia Pacific outside of China.