Neuroscience-based biotechnology company Elan and global research company PPD have formed a business collaboration to advance Elan’s development portfolio.

Elan and PPD intend to work closely to explore opportunities to leverage both companies’ competencies.

In 2009 the troubled Irish drug maker considered putting itself up for sale and hired Citigroup Global Markets for a review of strategic options.

But cuts to spending and a much needed-investment from US-based Johnson & Johnson in its multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri, led to financial improvements.

PPD will act as Elan’s primary service provider for all development activities, while Elan will leverage the capabilities of PPD across project and data management, biostatistics, regulatory, clinical and medical monitoring.

Elan will retain ownership of its assets and accountability for decision making with regard to strategy and progression of the individual molecules as well as the overall portfolio.

Elan chief medical officer, executive vice-president and head of development Eliseo Salinas said, “Establishing this strategic collaboration with PPD will enable Elan to accelerate the progression of our science into the clinical development setting in a rapid and global fashion.

“The ability to fluidly access additional expertise and execution capability on a global scale will complement our internal talent and may enable us to move multiple programs forward in a parallel manner.”