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Thermo Fisher's PPD Division Grows With New $58M Wisconsin Lab

By Emma Dill, posted Jun 20, 2024
Thermo Fisher Scientific opened a new $58 million clinical research lab this week at its campus in Middleton, Wisconsin. (Photo courtesy of Thermo Fisher Scientific)
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s PPD clinical research division opened a $58 million laboratory building this week in Wisconsin.

The 72,500-square-foot building will bring new capabilities to the existing campus and is expected to create 350 new jobs. Pharmaceutical firm Thermo Fisher Scientific completed a $17.4 billion purchase of PPD, a contract research organization started in Wilmington, in late 2021.

The new clinical research lab will increase capabilities in new and emerging therapeutic areas at Thermo Fisher Scientific’s good manufacturing practices (GMP) lab in Middleton, Wisconsin by boosting “the site’s chemistry, manufacturing and control analytical capabilities as part of its clinical development and laboratory services focused on improving health by helping customers deliver life-changing medicines,” a company news release stated.

“As research in biopharmaceutical therapies continues to rapidly expand, we are excited to expand our overall capacity and capabilities in laboratory services to help our customers deliver therapies that meet the highest quality and safety standards for patients,” Leon Wyszkowski, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s president of analytical services and clinical research, stated in the release.

“We will continue to support and empower our customers as they continue to discover, develop and deliver new groundbreaking therapies. This $58 million investment to expand the site is a testament to our dedication in supporting Thermo Fisher’s mission of making the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”

The expansion is expected to add up to 350 scientists and other laboratory support professionals to the nearly 2,300 employees already working on the research campus.

The GMP campus offers “high-quality analytical services for small molecules and biologics, including biopharmaceuticals, inhaled pharmaceuticals and device testing, cell and gene therapy, protein characterization and mass spectrometry analysis for all phases of drug development,” according to the release.

The new facility features a multi-use and flexible biosafety level 2 laboratory that includes a purpose-built liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and protein characterization space along with two large molecular suites with access-controlled pre- and post-amplification labs and two large general-use labs.

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced earlier this year the addition of biosafety testing to the services at its Middleton facility. The addition of this capability along with the new building means the site can offer a “full complement of end-to-end laboratory services,” the company's release stated.

Since Thermo Fisher Scientific acquired PPD, the company has maintained a substantial presence in the Wilmington area. The firm told the Business Journal last year it has approximately 1,700 local employees.

Its physical office footprint in downtown Wilmington has shrunk in recent years amid the rise of remote work. Last summer, the city of Wilmington purchased the 12-story building that had for years housed PPD and later Thermo Fisher Scientific. City offices take up roughly five floors of the building while two floors are being leased back to Thermo Fisher Scientific as the company looks for new office space.

In addition to the Wisconsin campus, Thermo Fisher’s clinical research laboratory business includes bioanalytical, biomarker and vaccine sciences labs in Richmond, Virginia; a GMP lab in Athlone, Ireland; central labs and biomarker operations in Brussels, Belgium, Highland Heights, Kentucky, and Singapore; and bioanalytical, biomarker, vaccine sciences and central labs in Suzhou, China, the release stated.
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