Thermo Fisher doubling single-use capacity through $100m Nashville plant

Thermo Fisher will hire 1,400 staff at the facility in Nashville, Tennessee, which is expected to feed biomanufacturing’s continued demand for single-use technologies.

Bioprocess vendor Thermo Fisher Scientific unveiled plans yesterday to bolster its manufacturing network for single-use technology (SUT) products through the construction of a facility in Wilson County, Tennessee.

“The new site will be Thermo Fisher’s largest designated SUT manufacturing facility and will help more than double Thermo Fisher’s network manufacturing capacity to support its biopharma customers,” a spokesperson from the firm told BioProcess Insider.

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The $100+ million investment comes on top of the $600 million of capital investments Thermo Fisher highlighted back in March, which included expansions at its sites in Logan, Utah; Millersburg, Pennsylvania; Cramlington, UK; Suzhou, China; and Singapore.

Thermo Fisher will hire more than 1,400 employees at its new facility, which, according to Thermo Fisher, will become one of the world’s largest SUT manufacturing sites. The facility – the first phase of construction of which is set be operational by the second quarter of 2022 – will be integrated into the vendor’s global network.

“Thermo Fisher’s network of SUT sites spans three continents and, once fully assembled, will have more than 90 assembly lines, allowing Thermo Fisher to scale and quickly pivot to meet the needs of customers around the globe,” the firm told us.

“The expanded capacity will also support Thermo Fisher’s strategy to harmonize its global SUT manufacturing network by standardizing equivalent processes and procedures, ensuring consistency of its SUT products worldwide.”

Unprecedented demand

“As the biopharma market grows, there is increasing demand for a consistent, reliable supply of SUT,” we were told. “Thermo Fisher’s global investments, including the new site in Nashville, enable the company to support biopharma customers as they work to meet demands related to COVID-19 and in their continued efforts to develop vaccines and biologics.”

Already in high demand, single-use technologies have been subject to a surge due to their need in the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. As such, there is currently a shortage in single-use equipment with biomanufacturers waiting up to a year for certain components.

Vendors have been reaping the rewards in their financials and expediting expansion projects to try to keep up with demand and reduce waiting times for components. Examples include SUT capacity expansions from Thermo Fisher’s peers, including Pall, Cytiva, and MilliporeSigma.

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