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Our History

in clinical development and laboratory services

Helping to deliver life-changing therapies to improve health

From its beginnings in 1985 as a one-person consulting firm to its position today as a leading global provider of contract research organization (CRO) solutions, our history is shaped by its commitment to consistent quality and execution, exceptional customer-aligned service and continuous innovation to speed the overall execution of clinical trials.

The PPD clinical research business of Thermo Fisher Scientific has conducted clinical trials in more than 100 countries to help customers deliver life-changing therapies to improve health. We apply innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a firm commitment to quality to bend the cost and time curve of drug development and optimize value.

  1. 1985


    Founded by Fred Eshelman, Pharm. D., as a one-person consulting firm

  2. 1986


    Expands scope to include development services

  3. 1989


    Incorporates in North Carolina

  4. 1995


    Expands to Europe, the Middle East and Africa with acquisition of Gabbay Group, a CRO in the U.K.

  5. 1996


    Initial public stock offering

    Acquires Applied BioScience International, which includes Pharmaco and several European regional drug development companies

    Expands to Latin America with acquisition of Brazil-based CRO

  6. 1997


    Offers drug discovery services

    Expands to Asia-Pacific region with opening of office in Australia

  7. 2001


    Declares a one-for-one stock dividend

  8. 2002


    Acquires Medical Research Laboratories International, adding central lab services in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa to its offerings for clients

    Acquires ProPharma, an Asian-based CRO, which significantly expands PPD’s footprint in Asia-Pacific

  9. 2005


    Revenue exceeds $1 billion

  10. 2006


    PPD board approves a two-for-one split of the company’s common stock

  11. 2007


    10,000+ employees globally

  12. 2008


    Purchases InnoPharm, a CRO based in Russia, expanding PPD’s global reach with offices in both Russia and Ukraine

  13. 2009


    Acquires AbCRO, a CRO in Central and Eastern Europe, strengthening our presence in a high-growth, emerging region for clinical research

    Expanded our presence in China significantly with acquisitions in that country

  14. 2010


    Spins off its compound partnering division as Furiex Pharmaceuticals, an independent company

    Celebrates 25th anniversary

  15. 2011


    Acquired by affiliates of The Carlyle Group and affiliates of Hellman & Friedman

  16. 2013


    Acquires Acurian, a leading full-service provider of clinical trial patient enrollment and retention solutions

  17. 2014


    Announces agreement to form PPD-SNBL, a joint venture providing a full range of clinical development services in Japan

  18. 2015


    Acquires network of U.S.-based research sites via Radiant

  19. 2016


    Acquires Evidera, a leading provider of evidence-based solutions, establishing a global leader in real-world research

    Acquires network of global research sites via Synexus

    15,000+ employees globally

  20. 2017


    Affiliates of The Carlyle Group and affiliates of Hellman & Friedman recapitalize PPD and add two new investors, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and an affiliate of GIC

    20,000+ employees globally

  21. 2018


    Establishes Accelerated Enrollment Solutions (AES), a business unit that combines patient data and a network of clinical research sites

  22. 2019


    Revenue exceeds $4 billion

    AES acquires the clinical research site business of Bioclinica

  23. 2020


    Initial public stock offering

    Announces plans to expand operations in China by opening a multifunctional lab, along with enlarging existing and opening new clinical development offices

    25,000+ employees globally

  24. 2021


    30,000+ employees globally

    Thermo Fisher Scientific completes acquisition of PPD

  25. 2022


    35,000+ employees globally

  26. 2023

    Thermo Fisher acquires CorEvitas, a leading provider of regulatory-grade, real-world evidence for approved medical treatments and therapies