SAFC produces dry powder media (DPM) for the world's biopharmaceutical
In 2005 Sigma Aldrich and JRH Biosciences mergers to form
SAFC Biosciences. It was at that time that company management sat down and mapped out a plan for the company’s
According to Rod Kelley, SAFC’s Vice-President of
Manufacturing, that meeting was the stepping off point
for the company’s future. “We started SAFC Biosciences
and we sat down with Archie Cullen (President of SAFC’s
BioReliance Division) – and he led us through a review of
the market, the competition and where we were, and said
here is where our strategy should be – to be able to grow in
From that meeting, the company decided that the market
demanded two primary things
First it was risk-averse - the market does not want to deal
with a lot of risk, but risk can come in many different ways.
Costs were also a market driver – SAFC wanted to prove
the value they could bring to the market and help their clients reduce their total cost of ownership.
From these two main findings, SAFC developed an operational footprint. This footprint would make sure the company could provide their main services to their customers.
First, they wanted to provide business continuity to their
customers. Second they wanted to improve the consistency
of their products. As Kelley notes “It used to be about how
much cells can I grow - how much product can I produce.
Today, it’s not so much about how much – but about what
A JOURNEY BEGINS
bandwidth I have – every time I fill my fermenter what can I
expect to come out of the bottom – because if I don’t know
– production planning becomes a disaster – downstream
processing becomes a disaster – so consistency and repro-
ducibility were every important.”
Finally, SAFC identified flexibility as a goal for their opera-
tional footprint. “We wanted to make sure we had increased
flexibility,” says Kelley, “because we wanted to serve the
whole industry – and have supply efficiencies.”
With everything that SAFC had learned about the market
they embarked on a journey. In 2006 the company had as-
Global biopharmaceutical manufacturers demand a high level of quality, service and consistency when it comes to the supplies they need to produce their products. In order to meet these
demands, suppliers must commit the resources, facilities
and expertise to deliver whatever is needed, when it is
needed, with a guarantee of quality assurance.
SAFC, a global company that supplies a multitude of services
to the biopharm/pharmaceutical industry has recently opened a
new Dry Powder Media (DPM ) manufacturing facility in Irvine,
Scotland to complement their Lenexa, KS DPM facility. By doing
so SAFC has shown their commitment to their customers and
this growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry.
BACKGROUND AND MARKET DRIVERS
The Irvine, Scotland site was acquired by Sigma-Aldrich in
1993 and received its first update several years later when
the company built what is now referred to as the Industrial
Production Building or IPB One.
The next major milestone in the site’s history was in 2005.
■ By Mike Auerbach, Editor In Chief
SAFC's Irvine, Scotland and Lenexa, KS dry powder media facilities
supply the global biopharmaceutical market
A Tale of Two Cities