Expansion of Parker Bioscience plant in Birtley nears completion

Multimillion-dollar investment in the UK site includes a new ISO Class 7 cleanroom for the manufacture of single-use products used in biopharmaceutical processing

Mike Brailsford, Parker Bioscience general manager

Construction works for the expansion of Parker Bioscience's manufacturing plant in Birtley (UK) are scheduled for completion by the end of July, Mike Brailsford, general manager at Parker Bioscience, told Cleanroom Technology.

"Current cleanrooms cover 2,400 sqm," Brailsford explained, adding that "the new cleanroom for single-use assembly manufacture will be ISO Class 7 covering 600 sqm". Brailsford said the clean environment will be refurbished during 2019 to centralise gowning areas and upgrade lighting and temperature control.

In May, Parker Hannifin announced a multimillion-dollar phased investment programme throughout the remainder of 2018 to expand its Bioscience division. The project targeted laboratory, cleanroom, office and warehouse facilities.

Upon completion, the investment will make the divisionís Birtley premises one of the most modern manufacturing sites for integrated bioprocessing solutions in EMEA, the company said.

Parker Bioscience designs, supplies and delivers whole systems for both upstream and downstream pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

The division, which has sites in Birtley and Oxnard in California (US) supports its customers in improving process control, efficiency and security throughout their production and packaging processes. Parker Bioscience also provides integrated bioprocessing solutions that speed up development times, increase efficiency and safety, and enable reproducible quality.

Incorporating the SciLog and Domnick Hunter brands, Parker Bioscience combines filtration, single-use fluid-handling systems and sensors into automated single-use solutions.

Market trend

The new investment follows a period of significant growth in the manufacturing capabilities of the Birtley site.

Parker Bioscience introduced an ISO Class 7 cleanroom environment in 2016 from where the company produces single-use manifolds incorporating tubing, bioprocess containers, filters, sensors and other components for use in the bioprocessing industry.

In 2017, it announced that the UK facility would start the manufacture of Parker's automated bioprocessing systems, complementing existing production at its site in California.

The SciLog SciPure FD System is an automated single-use system for the filtration and dispensing
of products into bottles or bags

Parker said the move to further strengthen the manufacturing capabilities of the Birtley site reinforces the divisionís robust overall manufacturing capacity.

Brailsford commented: ďThe increased capacity will help us to offer larger scale services to biopharmaceutical manufacturers in Europe and across the globe, and is a major milestone in the divisionís growth.Ē

The investment is aligned with the current trend in the market as biopharmaceuticals now represent a major pipeline of blockbuster drugs for the coming years. Brailsford believes that "single use products are critical to this market as without this cleaning of equipment between batches is very difficult to manage".

More details about the investment and the strategic expansion are revealed in an exclusive interview with Mike Brailsford to be featured in the August issue.

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