The project, which is being part funded by a grant from the State’s bioscience authority, will expand pin milling and blending capabilities enabling, according to SAFC, an increase of approximately 30 per cent in batch production capacity.
The firm specified that the expansion will create two dedicated animal component-free (AFC) manufacturing suites capable of producing batch sized range from 25kg to 4,000kg in a single continuous production run.
In addition to these two ACF units, a separate dedicated manufacturing suite for animal component containing (ACC) dry powder media products will also come on line as part of the expansion.
SAFC, which claims to be the world largest supplier of dry media, said that when fully operational later this year the facility will act as a central production hub, streamlining supply to its portfolio of biomanufacturing customers around the world.
The firm went on to explain that operations at Lenexa will focus on its proprietary pin milling technology which, it suggested, offers greater process control in terms of temperature, feed rates and milling speed.
The investment fits with recent moves SAFC has made to expand its presence in the rapidly evolving biomanufacturing sector where demand for culture medias is already considerable.
And in wider terms, the establishment of a "centre of excellence" is in keeping with SAFC's recent development according to comments made yesterday by Jai Nagarkatti, CEO of parent company Sigma-Aldrich.
In an address to investors Nagarkatti said that adding “new and differentiating capacity” to SAFC had been an important factor in the unit’s growth rate.