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SGS opens assay lab in France

By Gareth Macdonald , 13-Jun-2012

SGS’ has opened a new cell-based assay laboratory in Poitiers, France in its latest European, biopharma-focused investment.

The lab – plans for which were announced last September – features two validated flow cytrometry systems which run software that is 21 CFR Part 11 compliant and hence suitable for a wide variety clinical development projects, including comparative sample analysis for multicentre trials.

As well as investing in new technology SGS has also formed a partnership with the neighbouring Poitiers’ blood transfusion centre, which the firm said will give it access to samples for testing and assay development.

This collaboration allows SGS to validate methods using fresh blood to determine the stability of relevant markers [biomarkers] of blood cells from very early time periods.”

SGS has already started work on two neutralizing antibody projects for an unnamed large pharmaceutical company and said that it has more work in the pipeline.

The addition of cell-based assay testing capacity is the latest stage SGS’ expansion of the Poitiers lab, which began with the installation of mass spectrometry (MS) capabilities in 2010 .

European expansion

The launch of new services at the Poitiers site also fits with SGS’ wider efforts to build in biopharmaceuticals testing, which began with the acquisition of Wokingham, UK-based M-Scan in 2010 and continued with the purchase of Glasgow, Scotland-headquartered Vitrology earlier this year .

And the latest investment is unlikely to be the Swiss testing firm’s last in the continent if comments it made at Interphex last month are any indication .

SGS told Outsourcing-pharma.com that it plans to offer formulation development services similar to those recently launched at its laboratory in Illinois, US at one of its sites in Europe in due course.

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