SP delivers freeze dryers for large-scale diagnostics production

To enable the installation in an expedited timeframe, the company expanded its workforce and re-engineered its manufacturing processes

SP Scientific Products (SP) has announced simultaneous installations of commercial lyophilisers for use in the production of diagnostic tests. The order was made last year by global healthcare company in response to the need for an increase in SARS-CoV-2 testing.

SP delivered 16 freeze dryers, including manufacturing, testing, and installation, in four months. To enable this, the company expanded its workforce and re-engineered its manufacturing processes.

Lyophilisation (freeze drying) is a step in the production of diagnostics, vaccines, and biologics, as it stabilises sensitive biological products to maintain their quality and efficacy and extend shelf life. SP’s VirTis Benchmark freeze dryers are custom-built lyophilisers designed to meet pilot, clinical supply and production demands. SP doubled its manufacturing capacity in order to supply the surge in demand for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test kits and vaccines.

Commenting on the news, SVP of Operations at SP, David Bull, said: “Our success as a trusted supplier of freeze drying technology has been built on the quality of our products. At the start of the pandemic last year, we looked at how we could restructure our operations and manufacturing capability, which, together with the recruitment of additional personnel, gave us the flexibility to respond to the sudden increase in demand for our freeze drying systems.”

Brian Larkin, SP’s CEO said: “When the COVID-19 crisis struck, it put many elements of the healthcare system under extreme pressure, including the significantly increased need for diagnostic testing. I am really pleased with how we were quickly able to increase manufacturing capacity at our sites in the US and Europe, and realise shorter delivery times in support of the scale-up demands of diagnostic testing kit manufacturers. We are building on this capability so that we can continue to respond to requirements for market leading fill-finish systems by pharmaceutical and diagnostics manufacturers, in short timeframes.”

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