Purolite says support from parent firm Ecolab helped drive plans for a facility in Pennsylvania aimed at bringing biologics resin direct to the US market.
Bioprocess services and consumables firm Purolite will construct a plant in Landenberg, Pennsylvania, offering resin production facilities, cleanrooms, laboratories, and new office space, it was revealed this week.
Speaking to BioProcess Insider at BIO in Boston, Hayley Crowe, SVP and general manager at Purolite, said the company’s first US facility was driven by Ecolab, which acquired Purolite in 2021 for $3.7 billion.
“Ecolab has a lot of knowledge in the space, with engineering, manufacturing process, and automation. We’ve made a significant investment in the last 18 months, not only to scale up our Wales facility, but our news today, which is opening a facility in North America.”
Purolite’s legacy plant in Llantrisant – located about 20km northwest of Cardiff, Wales, UK – last year tripled agarose resin capacity. Such resin is used to capture proteins in the chromatography steps of bioprocessing and are deemed as the gold standard in antibody affinity purification.
“We’ll now have [agarose] supply on both sides of the worlds that we can quickly get resins to our customers as needed, whether it’s in a time of difficulty, like we all experienced during COVID, or just in the day to day.”
With supply chain security at the forefront of biomanufacturing concerns, having a US agarose resin plant “is imperative to the future,” said Crowe. The decision to lay ground in Pennsylvania specifically is down to a mixture of Purolite’s own Philadelphia-based history (the company was founded in the city in the 1980s), as well as being close to the many customers located on the East coast.
“We have multiple manufacturing sites within the same one-hour drive: we have our own API manufacturing facility, we have our applications labs specific for biopharmaceuticals opening in the fall, an industrial facility in downtown Philadelphia, and we thought what better way to keep the talent connected within the company but by adding another facility, that’s just 40 minutes down the road,” said Crowe.
“The other advantage is the talent pool,” she continued. “There is so much phenomenal talent in this space, both from a customer perspective, but also suppliers’ perspective to bring in the right people, whether it’s product marketing, operations, even your HR talent development team, understanding this space, and really helping evolve and develop the careers of the talent we bring in. It’s an exciting place to be, and it’s definitely exciting times.”