Additions to the site from the investment, which included funding from an undisclosed client, will include the installation of vial labelers and vaporized hydrogen peroxide cold sterilization systems.
A spokesperson for Sharp told us that the company has seen increased demand for its packaging services but noted that there has been a specific interest from the biotech sector, as it has grown in recent years.
“In expanding capacity and adding capabilities at Allentown, we are future-proofing our business in line with these [increased packaging] trends and to ensure we can meet anticipated demand in the coming years,” said the spokesperson.
Sharp’s Allentown campus opened as the company’s injectables center of excellence in April 2016. The site development doubled the site’s capacity for pre-filled syringe, autoinjector, and pen assembly, as well as its cold storage capacity.
Over recent years, the company has invested approximately $11m (€9.86m) in its clinical services center of excellence in Wales, and an additional $11m was spent on bolstering its injectable and cold chain capabilities in the US, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
It also recently refitted its facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as a result of a $23m investment.
The spokesperson told us that over recent years Sharp has spent over $60m in total, globally, to increase capacity and add clinical and commercial packaging capabilities to meet demand.
“Over the same time, we've developed a deep cross-functional expertise in the challenges of packaging biotech products, notably in the design, kitting, assembly, labeling and packaging of injectables. We want our biotech center of excellence in Allentown to continue to deliver – indeed to set the standard – for these kinds of contract services,” the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson added that the company has also made changes to its operational structure by establishing four different packaging centers of excellence at the Allentown campus.