On April 20 in Ogden, Utah, Thermo Fisher Scientific opened a single-use technology (SUT) manufacturing site. “As vaccines and therapies get more complex and powerful, so do the demands on the single-use technologies employed to produce them,” says Mitch Kennedy, president, single-use technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “More developers are taking advantage of the flexibility SUTs provide to scalable bioreactor volumes and a more ecofriendly process versus stainless steel reactors.”

To meet that increasing demand in SUT, Thermo Fisher developed a 55,000-square-foot facility in Ogden to manufacture bioprocess container systems, such as single-use bags, that can be customized. These systems can be used in many manufacturing steps, such as processing, separation, and storage. Kennedy says that new facilities like the one in Ogden “help ensure that flexible, scalable, and reliable bioprocessing production capacity exists for the materials used in developing new and current biologics and vaccines, including for COVID-19.”

Although the east and west coasts of the U.S. are top locations for biotechnology, some leaders in Utah hope to change that. “Thermo Fisher’s new facility in Ogden is not only an investment in Utah’s biotech infrastructure, but also an investment in the thriving communities of our state,” says Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). “Utah is a high-tech hub for businesses seeking an educated, dedicated workforce within communities, and an economy that is thriving.”

Thermo Fisher also sees a future for bioprocessing at more inland locations. “The Ogden, facility is part of Thermo Fisher’s $650 million multi-year investment,” Kennedy explains.

The transition to more single-use technology in bioprocessing requires a range of consumables and ways to adapt them to various production lines. Consequently, the market could continue to drive more demand for these products. In addition, the manufacturing sites could start to sprout up across the country.