Marken expands in China; plans more pharma logistics depots worldwide

Meanwhile, World Courier remains up for bid, possibly to be acquired by FedEx

Marken (London, US HQ in Uniondale, NY), a leading provider of clinical trial logistics, has received a “expanded” business license to allow the storage and distribution of clinical trial materials (CTMs) in China, where it already has a courier business. Also within recent weeks, it has organized a competency center around cold chain services (for both clinical and commercial logistics), hired a QA manager for its Berlin office, and promoted the availability of two IT systems (Solo, a tracking and planning system, and Maestro, a client web portal). And it has ambitious growth plans: "We have an aggressive plan to build six more purpose-built pharmaceutical service depots this year," said Frank Wright, president, clinical trials distribution, in a press release. "With the completion of Argentina and the start of Beijing, we are off to a strong start in 2012. We have engaged a global engineering and construction firm to assist us and ensure that the standards of construction are up to the highest standards in the industry."

Meanwhile, there continue to be press reports of an on-again, off-again negotiation for selling World Courier, another major CTMs courier service. Earlier press reports had said that UPS had looked at, but then passed on, acquiring the New Hyde Park, NY company; now FedEx is rumored to be at the bargaining table.