Thermo Fisher Scientific has set up a unit for molecular biology techs at its site in Lithuania, citing pharmaceutical R&D labs in Eastern Europe as a target.
The firm acquired the site in the capital Vilnus when it bought enzyme and reagent manufacturer Fermentas International in 2010, but only started work on the new 10,000sqm research facility last summer according to bioscience president Greg Herrema.
"Thermo Fisher constructed a new 10,000 square meter building to further enhance the capabilities of the Vilnius site," he told in-pharmatechnologist.com, adding that “The existing building is dedicated principally to manufacturing. All Research & Development, administrative and logistics functions moved to the new building, as well as some manufacturing."
Herrema explained that activities in the R&D unit will focus on the development of reagents and products used in pharmaceutical molecular and cell biology and protein research – ranging from PCR systems to protein and antibody purification technology.
Manufacturing operations at the site will concentrate on research reagents and solutions. It also houses capacity for chemical synthesis for end products and raw materials as well as good manufacturing practices (GMP) standard capabilities for the production of medical diagnostic products.
Herrema added that: “We see the new center of excellence as a tremendous opportunity for growth in Vilnius and for growth globally. This investment will allow Thermo Fisher to expand R&D and local reagent manufacturing, bringing us closer to existing and potential customers in the region," but declined to name any of the companies Thermo Fiser is targeting.
Thermo Fisher has also partnered with the University of Vilnius to set up a mobile biology laboratory at which students can use molecular biology and DNA research tools, with the idea being that the project will nurture the researchers of the future.
The opening of the new R&D facility - which dedicates some space to the development of medical diagnostics products - follows just days after Thermo Fisher acquired One Lambda, a developer of testing technologies used to assess patients involved in organ transplants.
The deal - financial terms of which have not been disclosed – will see One Lambda become part of ThermoFisher’s speciality diagnostics segment.