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Expanding the concept of contract research

Successful service providers anticipate customers' needs and make it easier for them to pay to have a job done rather than do the work in-house. CROs have done well by providing clinical development services, but last week's acquisition of combinatorial chemistry and functional genomics capabilities by CRO Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc. (PPDI) may represent a trend to expand the scope of contract services. The next test will be how well such companies integrate drug discovery services into their organizations.

PPDI (Wilmington, N.C.) will acquire Sarco Inc., a provider of low-cost combinatorial chemistry services (see Emerging Company

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