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PPD Beach2Battleship Heroes Promote Participation in Clinical Trials

Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD) today announced the 2014 PPD Heroes team of athletes competing in the Oct. 25 PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, one of the top-rated iron distance events in the world.

PPD Heroes, everyday people who overcame illness with medical treatments developed through clinical research, raise awareness about the importance of increasing participation in clinical trials, which are integral to developing next-generation medicines. PPD Heroes will share their inspirational stories at the PPD Hero Awards, an invitation-only celebration at the company’s world headquarters in Wilmington on Oct. 24, a day before competing in the triathlon.

“PPD Heroes’ remarkable journeys from illness to wellness inspire researchers working tirelessly to develop new medical treatments,” said David Simmons, chairman and CEO of PPD. “Their advocacy to increase understanding about clinical trials is important in helping patients and physicians become aware of innovative treatment options. Increasing participation in clinical trials also helps researchers advance the pace of medical breakthroughs that can improve health and save lives.”

The 2014 team of PPD Heroes features:

  • Wendy Chioji, who was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2001. She enrolled in a clinical trial at the urging of her oncologist, who was also her marathon training partner, to potentially help herself while advancing research for others. The resulting chemotherapy successfully treated Wendy’s breast cancer.
  • Tim Fortuna, an emergency room physician and triathlete, felt pain and discomfort in his chest following a long day of training five days after turning 37. Tests revealed a 70 percent blockage of a coronary artery. Cardiologists implanted a drug-eluting stent, which allowed the father of two to return to daily activities and again compete in triathlons.
  • Laura Hull was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 24 and spent 15 years battling the disease and accompanying symptoms. Before a surgical procedure provided relief, she participated in a clinical trial testing new medication to help further the advancement of effective treatments for ulcerative colitis.
  • Mary Kreis, at 23 weeks pregnant, needed surgery to remove a cancerous mole and a sentinel lymph node. Surgeons discovered the cancer had spread, and a second operation removed additional lymph nodes. Thanks to results from previous clinical trials, Mary’s oncologist was confident the procedure was safe for a pregnant patient. Weeks later, Mary gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
  • Meg Roberts, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10, credits clinical researchers for developing therapies that help her manage the condition. As there is no cure for diabetes, to stay healthy she must inject insulin several times a day. Over the years, clinical research aided the development of insulin and enhanced blood glucose monitoring methods.
  • Chris Samia was diagnosed with psoriasis in the seventh grade. He underwent various types of treatments for the next 15 years and was unable to be physically active because of the painful condition affecting nearly all the skin on his body. At 27 and obese, Chris participated in a clinical trial for a medication that relieved his symptoms and transformed his life, allowing him to lose more than 100 pounds and compete as a triathlete.
  • Emily Schaller, a cystic fibrosis (CF) patient and founder of the Rock CF Foundation, has participated in multiple clinical trials. In 1983, at 18 months old, she was diagnosed with CF at a time when the median age of survival was in the late teens. She began participating in clinical trials in her early teens and has volunteered for trials of breakthrough CF therapies.

PPD is celebrating its fifth year as title sponsor of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, which has been ranked among the top five triathlons in the world by readers of Triathlete magazine. The race starts in Wrightsville Beach, winds through New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Bladen counties and ends in downtown Wilmington. The full iron distance triathlon includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. The event also offers a half iron distance triathlon course.

The PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon last month announced the addition of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) 5K to the lineup of race weekend events, providing an expanded opportunity for participation. The NHRMC 5K will be held the morning of the triathlon, starting at 9 a.m. at Legion Stadium, running along the streets of Greenfield Lake and downtown Wilmington, and ending at the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon finish line on Water Street.

More than 2,000 athletes participate in the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, helping generate approximately $4 million in local economic impact. Funds raised benefit the Wilmington Family YMCA. PPD Beach2Battleship is produced by Set Up Events, one of the largest triathlon production companies in the United States, producing more than 150 events annually in eight states.

About PPD

PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing drug discovery, development, lifecycle management and laboratory services. Our clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 46 countries and approximately 13,000 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a commitment to quality to help clients and partners accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics and maximize the returns on their R&D investments. For more information, visit

Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations and assumptions, including statements, expectations and assumptions about the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although PPD attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based and could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Other important factors that could cause future results to differ materially include the following: the ability to attract, integrate, retain and train key personnel; competition in the outsourcing industry; PPD’s ability to win new business; the ability to control SG&A spending; overall global economic conditions; economic conditions, research and development spending, and outsourcing trends in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and government-sponsored research sectors; loss, delay or modification of large contracts; higher-than-expected cancellation rates; the rate of conversion of backlog into revenue; risks associated with acquisitions and investments; rapid technological advances that make our services or capabilities less competitive; compliance with drug development regulations; changes in the regulation of the drug development process; consolidation in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; risks associated with and dependence on strategic relationships; and actual operating performance. PPD assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update these forward-looking statements in the future, except as required by applicable law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing PPD’s estimates or views as of any date subsequent to the date hereof.

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