- GE Healthcare Life Sciences is expanding its annual production capacity of powdered cell culture media by tenfold at its facility in Pasching, Austria. This newly-built suite will supply biopharma companies in Europe, and will be certified in 2018.
- Manufacturing capacity at the company's site in Logan, Utah will double, with the facility also offering expanded stability services to support companies that require custom media formulations.
- GE is also implementing its Brilliant Manufacturing software suite at the Utah site. This combines lean and advanced manufacturing with software analytics, and aims to reduce the time required for annual internal batch record quality reviews.
The cell culture market was worth around $1.4 billion in 2017, with an expected growth rate of 8%. Cell culture media is the fastest growing sector within this market. This is driven by growth in the biopharmaceuticals and cell therapies markets, as well as increased investment into biopharma R&D.
Powdered cell culture media has a number of benefits over liquid media, including longer shelf-life, as well as lower transportation and storage costs. This ties in with the industry's focus on improved security of supply and consistency of quality, according to Olivier Loeillot, general manager of BioProcess at GE Healthcare Life Sciences.
"The capacity increase in Pasching helps us to meet the growing customer demand in Europe for powdered cell culture media… In Europe and in the US, the current uptake of powdered media is already between 60% and 70%," said Loeillot in a statement.
The new software system in the Utah facility will allow the company to remove seven million manual entries and reduce the time required to conduct 100,000 internal batch record quality reviews each year. The digital solutions will provide greater transparency for biopharmaceutical companies, says GE. The new software will allow for real-time data on cell culture media, allowing for increased control over manufacturing processes.