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End-to-end pharma logistics now a reality

By Kirsty Barnes , 20-Jun-2006

Newly-formed Sentry Logistic Solutions has built its first bridge, forming a partnership with BioStorage Technologies to offer global biopharma companies the first cold chain storage/logistics service that spans all phases of drug development.

Together the two US firms will now be able to offer sophisticated cold storage, shipping and tracking solutions, from R&D and drug development through to commercialisation.

Both based in Indianapolis, Indiana, the two companies plan to use their new relationship to pursue large-scale new business opportunities; use each others' facilities for available storage space and disaster recovery, share best practices and co-market each others' services.

BioStorage's strengths lie in the "front end" - the R&D phase - of the drug development process, while Sentry's experience lies more in the "back end" - the commercialisation and distribution phases - so the services offered by the two companies complement each other nicely.

Specific services offered by BioStorage include long-term cold storage, sample tracking and international shipping solutions for biological materials such as cell lines and clinical trial sample.

Sentry provides third-party logistics (3PL) services and cold storage solutions for bulk and temperature-sensitive materials such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), bulk drug substances (BDS), intermediates, components and finished drug products.

"Biopharma firms demand outsourcing partners that are extremely reliable and have a proven competency in handling sensitive materials under highly specialised and regulated conditions," said Jennifer Marcum, Sentry's CEO.

"Until now, finding partners that provide a broad enough range of capabilities to support the diversity of materials involved in pharmaceutical development and commercialisation was a struggle."

The biopharma market was identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the fastest-growing manufacturing sector in the US and the sector's spend on outsourcing faces double-digit growth for the next three to five years.

Contract storage and 3PL services are particularly well suited to outsourcing due to the significant capital investments and specialised skills these functions require.

The founders of Sentry spotted a gap in the US market for providing these specialised services exclusively for the biopharma industry and opened for business just last month.

"There are probably fewer than ten companies in the US providing these services in this market segment and of these, most don't focus solely on the biopharma market as we do," said Marcum.

Dr. F. John Mills, CEO of BioStorage Technologies commented: "Our clients frequently ask us to recommend a firm that we trust for pharmaceutical component storage."

"This partnership can now use both companies' respective strengths to provide our collective clients with consistent, reliable solutions across their businesses."

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