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New plant moves Irvine into Asia, gives it 2nd media source

By Nick Taylor , 25-Aug-2011
Last updated on 25-Aug-2011 at 12:28 GMT

Irvine Scientific has begun shipping from the cell culture media plant it built to expand into Asia and give clients the security of a second source.

Processes at the Tokyo, Japan plant replicate those at Irvine Scientific’s other facility in Santa Ana, California. Copying the Santa Ana site allows Irvine Scientific to supply clients with animal component free cell culture media, at volumes up to those used in biopharm production, from either plant.

The expansion of our capacity provides our current and prospective customers the opportunity to mitigate risk of supply from one location”, Tim Mullane, chief operating officer at Irvine Scientific, told in-PharmaTechnologist.

Irvine Scientific has equipped the 1,720 sq m Tokyo plant with many features found at the Santa Ana facility. “Both locations utilise the same milling technology, identical quality and regulatory systems and even the same qualified raw material vendors”, Mullane said.

Growth plans

An annual International Organization for Standardization (ISO) audit was performed at the Santa Ana and Tokyo is scheduled for a visit later this year. Several customers have already inspected the plant and it is qualified to supply these companies. Many other clients have previewed the site.

Mullane declined to say how many Asia-based clients Irvine has but did outline the growth strategy. “We intend to build from our strength in Japan to other key markets and provide the same level of support to customers in China, Korea and other neighbouring markets”, Mullane said.

Tokyo is just one element of the plan. Mullane said: “We are expanding our commercial presence in target markets throughout Asia. The Tokyo facility doubles our current capacity and allows Irvine Scientific the ability to continue to support the growth requirements our customers have.”

Capacity across both sites is more than 1.2m kilograms a year. In April Irvine Scientific expanded its Santa Ana site with the addition of a 23,000 sq ft warehouse and the Tokyo plant also has room to grow.

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