Construction at PCI Pharma Services’ (PCI) site began November 12, 2018. The expansion will provide an additional 30,000 square feet of space for primary and secondary packaging, and labeling operations at its clinical services center of excellence. A dedicated 2-8°C packaging suite for cold chain products will also be added.
The site supports global clinical trials and the expansion will ensure the company can continue to meet clinical supply chain needs, according to the company.
The site features scalable primary and secondary packaging and labeling suites, which are able to operate as either stand-alone or on an integrated basis.
The site also supports temperature-sensitive therapies, including cold chain and ultra-cold chain. Its controlled room temperature (CRT) has temperatures ranging from 15-25°C, 2-8°C, and -20°C, -30°C, -40°C, and -80°C.
A recent focus on specialized medicines with specific handling requirements also spurred the expansion, according to PCI. Biologics and biosimilars have increased the need for temperature-controlled services, and the new suites will be equipped to handle those needs and increase the company’s flexibility while complementing the growth of biologics and biosimilars in the industry.
The site also boasts cryogenic storage capabilities with temperatures below -196°C for advanced therapeutic medicinal products (ATMPs), including cell and gene therapies. The cryogenic storage space was announced in November of last year and followed a 400% storage capacity gain at PCI’s Bridgend, UK-based site.
In addition, the Rockford site will include a reception area, and the office space will be doubled in size to meet the company’s plans for growing its staff.
The expansion is expected to be completed and open in late 2019 following an internal fit-out and validation and licensing period.
This investment is the latest in PCI’s series of strategic investments to provide localized services for global clinical studies.
In 2016, Partners Group, a private markets investment manager, acquired PCI and announced at the time that PCI would make strategic moves to add more specialized offerings. Since the acquisition, the company has made multiple acquisitions and expansions.
PCI recently began additional construction on a dedicated -40°C cold chain services facility at the Rockford location. This and the most recent expansion complement the investments made at PCI’s Bridgend location, and its acquisition of Sherpa Clinical Packaging in San Deigo, CA – which was its third acquisition in 12-month period.
The company also acquired a site in Dublin, Ireland in 2017 for geographic expansion and further access and protective mitigation for potential Brexit outcomes. Additionally, the company acquired Pharmaceutical Packaging Professionals in Melbourne, Australia around the same time to provide access for clients in an emerging market.