- Marken, a UPS subsidiary focused on the biopharma industry, is expanding in Philadelphia, building a new GMP-compliant storage and distribution center while adding more space for logistics operations.
- Sited next to an existing hub, the new facility will include an 11,000-square-foot depot and offer a range of cold storage options reaching as low as -20 degrees Celsius, the company said in a Feb. 5 release.
- Marken also plans to have central pharmacy capabilities in the depot, and referenced plans for future storage options for genetically modified organisms connected to cell and gene therapies.
Marken and other supply chain companies are trying to meet new challenges that come with complex biopharmaceutical therapies such as biologics and, increasingly, cell and gene therapies.
In response to greater demand for cold chain storage and shipping, market incumbents as well as smaller companies have expanded to offer a wider array of services.
Emerging CAR-T cell therapies, for example, require the extraction of T cells from a patient, shipment to a manufacturing facility for genetic engineering and then a return trip to the patient for infusion. All this must be done with proper temperature control, appropriate speed and logistic controls to ensure the right cells return to patients quickly.
Marken, a UPS subsidiary, said its expansion is in response to increasing demand for drug handling and shipping as well as in preparation of what it anticipates will be increased demand for cell and gene therapies.
Just last month, Marken announced a collaboration with software provider Trakcel to help Marken in its efforts to expand in the cell and gene therapy arena.
Its location near the Philadelphia airport will allow the company to move more quickly with therapies in transit, the company said.