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Cell and Gene Therapy Lab: New Space Opens Doors to Opportunities

TALENTED CELL AND GENE BIOLOGISTS IN PPD LABORATORIES’ GMP LAB IN ATHLONE, IRELAND ARE WORKING WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES AND HAVE BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF GROWTH IN THIS AREA.

Woman sitting in a chair.
Moira Elmore
Senior Group Leader, Cell and Gene Therapy Lab

PPD Laboratories’ GMP lab is a leading provider of chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) laboratory services for all phases of drug development.

The cellular and molecular biology group is part of the biopharmaceuticals department. What began as a small team of four has now grown to a group of over 20 people supporting bioassay potency testing, cell culture and gene and cell therapy testing.

The team is anchored by Moira Elmore, senior group leader (pictured) who says, “The evolving science of cell and gene therapy is an exciting area to work in. I am proud to lead our great team, who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic and an ever-changing scientific workspace. We now offer a full range of new services to support our clients in delivering cutting-edge therapies.”

The Athlone laboratory offers fully integrated solutions for pharmaceutical product development, including analytical testing services, stability testing, quality control and release testing. In addition to biologic testing, the laboratory is among  market leaders in the analysis of small molecule and inhalation products, as well as extractables and leachables testing.

Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of PPD Laboratories’ GMP lab in Athlone, Ireland.
(Image taken prior to COVID-19)

The cell and gene therapy lab works with potency assays, which look at the mechanism of action of the drugs. Cells are exposed to a drug, and a particular response is measured (e.g. anti-proliferation or production of a reporter gene).

Early 2020 saw celebrations to mark the 10 year anniversary of PPD Laboratories’ GMP lab in Athlone, Ireland. However, it is also a year of continued growth for the facility and significant investment and expansion of our cell laboratory capacity. To support the pharmaceutical industry’s growing need for biologics testing, PPD is currently expanding its cell and gene therapy analytical lab in Athlone, adding 1,600 square feet of bioassay space. Our goal is to offer an extensive biologic, cell and gene therapy portfolio to our customers. This expansion will increase capacity in the cell lab by approximately 40%, and also add the capability to perform infectivity assays to support cell and gene therapy products.

“This is an exciting time for us at PPD,” said Marguerite Gately, senior corporate recruiter. “As we expand our cell lab facilities, we are hiring highly skilled scientific professionals at all levels with a range of career prospects to offer them onsite. Our ability to meet client demands, highly skilled workforce and investment is what will ensure our continued success and growth in biologics.”

To consider a career path within PPD ® Laboratories GMP lab teams, including cell and gene therapy, located in Athlone, Ireland, and Middleton, Wisconsin, U.S., explore available opportunities and apply online at https://www.ppd.com/careers/.