Rare Disease Resources

PPD is committed to advancing rare disease research. The cross-therapeutic experts responsible for developing and executing rare disease studies have extensive experience and consistently analyze evolving scientific and industry advancements. Our key rare disease resources, including white papers, patient stories and videos, are highlighted below.



Profiles and Whitepapers

Pediatric Investigator Network

Learn about PPD's network of pediatric centers of excellence that share knowledge across the international research community.

Risk-Based Monitoring in Rare Disease Trials

Learn how PPD created an adaptive and intelligent monitoring strategy tailored to rare and uncommon diseases to improve data flow using real-time data.

Rare Diseases experience
Rare Diseases Challenges
Brochure and Featured Article

Rare Diseases Brochure

Download our brochure to learn more about how PPD helps navigate the complexities of rare disease trials.

Rare Diseases: The Patient as Collaborator

Read this PharmaVOICE article that discusses how working with rare disease patients and advocacy groups is critical to success.

Additional Hemotology/Oncology Resources

With more than 2,100 hematology and oncology trained staff, PPD provides our clients with dedicated internal resources throughout their studies. Some of our key experts and their insights are highlighted below.

Carol Woodward

Executive Director, Global Project Management

Carol Woodward is executive director of global project management and the global therapeutic head for hematology/oncology.
Carol Woodward

She is responsible for the strategic direction, business operations and operational delivery of the therapeutic business unit, and leads and manages the team of directors, associate directors and project managers responsible for the ongoing review of quality, operational and financial performance of all projects as ultimately measured by customer satisfaction. Woodward coordinates the global development of therapeutic-specific best practices and training initiatives, and ensures proper communications between PPD project teams and clients.

Woodward joined PPD in 2001 as a project manager and has assumed leadership positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in the promotion to her current position in 2013. In addition to Woodward’s therapeutic breadth and depth of experience in oncology, her expertise spans nervous system, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, genitourinary and musculoskeletal. She has prior pharmaceutical industry experience as a program manager, clinical research associate and as a data manager.

Woodward earned a Master of Science degree with honors in clinical research from the University of Wales in Cardiff and a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in accounting from the University of East Anglia in England.

Michael Henning

Director, Project Management Global Hematology and Oncology

Michael Henning is a global director of project management within the hematology/oncology therapeutic area.
Michael Henning

He is responsible for operational management of key alliance accounts and the oversight of a portfolio of more than 30 studies across multiple therapeutic areas. Henning has served in this role for the last five years and has implemented internal changes to facilitate process improvements to

better align PPD’s activities with the goals of its clients.

Henning joined PPD in 2007 from another contract research organization where he held several positions of increasing authority before ultimately becoming senior manager of clinical operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in business administration from Baker University.

White Paper

White Paper: Adaptive Trial Designs to Advance Oncology Research

Adaptive trial designs offer the means to make oncology trials more informative and efficient.

Dirk Reitsma, M.D.

Vice President, Global Product Development

Dirk Reitsma, M.D., is vice president and oncology therapeutic area head for global product development.
Dirk Reitsma, M.D.

In this role, he leads the oncology product development strategy team and provides clinical trial design guidance to clients in this therapeutic category. In addition, he established and leads the company’s biosimilar services development group, which brings together cross-functional, global expertise and resources in the development of large molecule biologic drugs.

Dr. Reitsma has extensive clinical development experience, having joined PPD in 2010 from MedImmune, where he served as vice president of clinical development since 2004. At MedImmune, he led the company’s active clinical oncology programs in biologics, and oversaw the expansion of its oncology clinical development department. Dr. Reitsma’s experience also includes serving as vice president of clinical affairs and medical director at Antigenics, and as associate director and senior clinical research physician in oncology at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Earlier in his career, he was associate director, clinical research head, clinical section, at Bionetics Research, Inc., and medical advisor in the medical research department at Organon International, Inc. in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Dr. Reitsma received a bachelor’s degree in science from the Medical Faculty of Rotterdam and a medical degree from Erasmus University in The Netherlands.

Case Study

Case Study: Pediatric Leukemia

PPD was selected to conduct central study activities for a Phase I/II pediatric leukemia study that evaluated study drug.

Brian Healey, Pharm.D

Associate Director, PPD Consulting

As associate director of PPD Consulting, Brian Healey provides biopharmaceutical clients with strategic development consulting and comprehensive program management.
Brian Healey

He designs and executes drug development plans from early preclinical/pre-IND planning through NDA submission. Operationally, he establishes and monitors budgets and timelines to ensure development program milestones are achieved on time and within budget.

He also supports business development activities by providing competitive landscape analyses for therapeutically aligned development groups across major indications and medicinal targets. He is the client’s primary point of contact regarding all aspects of the development program, ensuring development team activities are aligned with client and corporate objectives.

Dr. Healey joined PPD in 2004 as operations supervisor of medical communications. He was named manager of global product development in 2006 and promoted to his current position in 2011. His prior employment included serving as a relief pharmacist with Harris Teeter, a sales representative with Eli Lilly & Company and an adjunct professor at Campbell University. His therapeutic experience includes musculoskeletal, nervous system, endocrine, genitourinary, pain management, oncology, digestive, circulatory and mental disorders.

Dr. Healey received a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Lawrence University. At Campbell University he earned a master’s degree in business administration, a doctorate in pharmacy and a master’s degree in clinical research.


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