SAFC® has decided to expand its Lenexa, KS, facility with a $6.25 million investment. It will create a global Center of Excellence for upstream and downstream production of dry powder media and reagents.
The project will include expanded pin milling and blending capabilities, enabling an increase of approximately 30% in batch production capacity. The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
SAFC previously performed milling operations at three sites using differing milling techniques. Through its Center of Excellence program, the company plans on consolidating all milling activity at Lenexa, KS, using proprietary pin-milling technology. In comparison with other milling platforms such as ball milling, pin milling allows greater process control including temperature, feed rates, and milling speed to provide powder media with increased consistency and performance, SAFC asserts.
The expansion will feature completely separate areas for animal component free (ACF) and animal component containing (ACC) manufacture, both featuring pin-milling technology. Upon completion, two dedicated manufacturing suites will have the capacity to produce ACF dry powder media in batch sizes ranging from 25 to 4,000 kg, with customized packaging available for all quantities. A separate dedicated manufacturing suite for ACC dry powder media products will also come on line as part of the expansion.
The project is supported by a $250,000 economic development grant from the Kansas Bioscience Authority. “This grant will see the Lenexa, KS, site become SAFC's first global Center of Excellence for dry powder media manufacturing and is a clear demonstration of our commitment to our biopharmaceutical partners, as we look to reduce their manufacturing costs by minimizing cell culture powder variability while enhancing their supply chain integrity,” says Bruce Lehr, SAFC's director of development.