SAFC Pharma Augments Assay Development Capabilities
News Jan 30, 2009
SAFC Pharma™, a business segment of SAFC®, a member of the Sigma-Aldrich® group has announced that it has commenced operations at its 7,000 sq. ft. laboratory complex in Carlsbad, CA.
Located adjacent to the Company's existing flagship viral substance production facility, the new laboratories support SAFC Pharma's biologics offering for customers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets, and complement its existing portfolio of biologics capabilities through process improvement, technology transfers of processes and assays, and characterization of active ingredients.
The new complex includes a dedicated Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) facility, a tissue culture laboratory and stability suite supported by microbiology and regular testing labs, and houses a scientific team focused on Quality Control (QC), Process Development (PD), assay development and validation.
The new PCR facility consists of separate suites with uni-directional personnel flow for sample processing, reaction assembly and PCR amplification.
In addition to PCR assays, the unit is capable of performing cell-based, molecular and immunological assays, as well as analytical assays such as HPLC. All suites are equipped for independent air handling with air pressure gradients to prevent cross-contamination.
On-site QC functions will include environmental monitoring and microbiology, stability, product and raw materials release, plus analysis of in-process samples using advanced instrumentation. All standard operating procedures and protocols to be carried out in the laboratories are designed to follow cGMP guidelines.
Commissioning of the new laboratories at Carlsbad follows SAFC's 2008 announcement of a $12 million expansion at the site to construct two fully segregated manufacturing suites. Due to be operational before 2009 year end, these suites will add an additional 8,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space and enable 100 liter batch production in stirred tank bioreactors and 500 - 1,000 liter batch manufacturing in disposable bioreactors.
The expansion will add commercial manufacturing capacity within the current 44,000 sq. ft. site and is planned to be Biosafety Level 2 compliant, allowing manipulation of human pathogens.
Controlling mosquito-borne illnesses has historically been difficult. Scientists have turned to manipulating Wolbachia, a parasitic bacterium within mosquitoes, as a way to control the reproductive fitness of mosquito populations that transmit human disease. In a study, researchers identified a new mobile DNA element in Wolbachia, which may contribute to improved control strategies for mosquito vectors of disease.