Thermo Fisher aims to boost its clinical offerings with German expansion — including cold chain for the Covid-19 effort
Just days after announcing wide-ranging expansions at four facilities in the US and Europe, manufacturing giant Thermo Fisher isn’t slowing down. Aiming to ramp up its clinical supply chain offerings — particularly to aid the Covid-19 response effort — the CDMO is spreading out in Germany with two new facilities.
Thermo has two new facilities in Rheinfelden and Weil am Rhein, Germany, going online this month and next, respectively. Like the four recently announced site expansions, Thermo is keeping the cost close to the chest.
The new facilities, the company said, will bring “much-needed clinical supply chain continuity,” namely in specialized cold-chain and cryogenic expertise across Europe and globally. That focus, combined with last week’s announced expansions focused in part on vaccine development capabilities, underscores Thermo’s ever-growing market for viable and sterile vaccine production, even outside of the current breakneck efforts to produce a Covid-19 vaccine.
Thermo’s Rheinfelden site, opening this month, consists of an 86,000-square-foot facility that will increase the company’s footprint for secondary packaging, storage, logistics and distribution of clinical supplies to investigator sites across Europe, the company said in a news release.
A 9,600-square-foot cryocenter highlights the Weil am Rhein facility and will allow for specialized ultra-low-temperature, cryogenic storage and cold-chain expertise for clinical-supply chain needs for cell and gene therapies, including Covid-19 vaccine candidates, Thermo said. The site will feature -80 degree Celsius freezers, liquid nitrogen cryogenic storage tanks and walk-in 2-8 degrees Celsius and -20 degrees Celsius cold storage technology. That facility is set to open in January.
The Massachusetts company late last week unveiled expansion projects at its facilities in Greenville, NC; Ferentino and Monza, Italy; and Swindon, England, to widen the range of options available to its customers, signaling a successful run for the company in a high-paced year for contract manufacturers.
In addition to the four production site expansions and the new supply-chain additions, Thermo also recently announced an expansion in Singapore that includes a high-speed sterile line for live-virus filling. The company also agreed to a joint venture with Innoforce to build a new pharmaceutical services facility in Hangzhou, China that focuses on integrated biologics drug substance and sterile drug product development and manufacturing.
Both of those sites are expected to be completed in 2022.
“These facilities, combined with our established regulatory expertise, will give customers the continuity and in-region capabilities to support clinical trials across multiple therapy areas,” said Mike Shafer, Thermo Fisher’s SVP and president of pharma services. “Ultimately, we are enabling our customers to make the world healthier by bringing new medicines to patients with exceptional speed, efficiency and quality.”