Yourway, the clinical trials supply chain services company, has announced an expansion of its controlled ambient capabilities in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The expansion adds about 100,000 square feet of storage capabilities at the company’s headquarters, situated close to key airports as well as the company’s headquarters and main storage facility.
According to the company, the move was made to meet the growing demand for long-term, temperature-controlled storage. The added facility reportedly can accommodate 5,000 pallets of clinical trial supplies.
To learn more about the company’s growth and the expansion, Outsourcing-Pharma connected with Leandro Moreira, senior vice president of corporate development with Yourway.
OSP: Could you please share an overview of Yourway’s business trajectory over the recent years. What have been some of the company’s key areas of growth and challenge?
LM: This year is a very important year for Yourway, as we celebrate 25 years in business this July. The company’s trajectory has been overwhelmingly positive in the sense that business continues to grow across our entire portfolio of services in a very robust way: Yourway integrated biopharma and transportation services are very well received by our clients, who appreciate the benefits associated with our integrated approach.
Clients rely on the convenience of having our team perform as an extension of theirs, providing very customized solutions to complex study needs and making sure timelines are efficiently met. Additionally, the fundamental agility that Yourway brings to the implementation of projects is a great differentiator because it offers our clients a very high degree of great convenience.
Imagine trying to run a study where you have to make one call to speak with your clinical packager, another call to speak with the transportation company, and another to discuss storage. At Yourway, clients have the convenience of interacting with a dedicated project management team that is well versed in all the details of their studies.
The experience and dedication of our team, our disciplined approach to services, and our global network are at the core of what makes us so successful. We keep growing in a very organized way, making sure that we maintain the same levels of quality and customization for which we are famous and well appreciated.
There have been a few challenges over the past few years that have added to the complexity or uncertainty of global clinical trials overall, but they were challenges for which Yourway was already well prepared, so I wouldn’t really characterize them as challenges for the company.
Brexit is a great example of how Yourway’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve helped avoid obstacles that might have challenged other providers. When the debate about Brexit started, there was little clarity about when Brexit was going to take effect or what its impacts would be.
Three years before Brexit, Yourway proactively created a solution in Europe, taking into consideration that Brexit could occur at any moment. At that time, in addition to our GMP depot in London, we started offering GMP depot services in Eastern Europe, including QP services and storage at all temperature ranges, and it quickly became a very popular solution for many of our clients.
We are currently in the process of building Yourway’s Flagship European depot, which will be located in Ireland, conveniently right outside of Dublin Airport, which will be a long-term solution and our main point in Europe. Ireland is a great life sciences hub, so this is a terrific strategic location. In addition to storage and distribution, the Dublin depot will offer primary and secondary clinical packaging, which will bring a lot of value to clients in the region.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been on everyone's radar for the last two years, but we starting to see restrictions being lifted around the world. But two years ago, many countries were implementing full lockdowns and airlines were canceling flights, which added a lot of stress to the supply chain.
A significant reason why Yourway was able to remain operational and successful in helping our clients meet their timelines was our resourcefulness in terms of developing multimodal solutions. In some countries, such as India, the entire airspace was closed, but Yourway had the ability to use temperature-controlled vehicles to drive long distances while ensuring that required temperatures were maintained. As a result, we were able to ensure that bulk shipments of API or anything else that was needed kept moving despite the lockdowns.
Yourway onboarded many rescue projects where other providers were not successfully meeting the timelines or other requirements of the study. With our proactive and customized approach, we showed that, even during times of crisis, Yourway is deeply skilled at agilely and proactively finding solutions to help minimize disruptions.
Additionally, although airlines are slowly returning to normal schedules, airfreight capacity has been somewhat reduced, while the demand for space continues to increase. However, owing to Yourway’s preferred relationship with most major airlines, we have been able to secure space to efficiently transport clinical trial materials such as active pharmaceutical ingredients, investigational medical products, biological samples, and ancillary supplies. Even in countries like China, where capacity has been very scarce, we have been very successful in securing space so that our clients can have their products moved timely and efficiently.
On top of that, at Yourway, we are the temperature control experts, always making sure that the most reliable transportation and storage solutions are available to our clients. From cryogenic –185 °C to controlled room temperature, we provide validated solutions to fulfill our clients’ needs globally.
OSP: Please tell us some of the market shifts and demands that led to the decision to expand its long-term controlled storage capacity.
LM: Yourway’s success in the clinical trial space comes from our mentality to always be ahead of the game. Instead of being reactive, we foresee that the demand for temperature-controlled GMP storage has been steadily increasing. Our location in the Northeast US, offers great accessibility to both domestic and international flights, allowing us quick access to most international and domestic cities. In addition to our global GMP depot network, we are constantly evaluating how to increase infrastructure and capacity to meet the immediate and long-term needs of our clients.
OSP: Does the company have any additional plans to expand its capacity (either in long-term temp-controlled storage, or another area) in the near future?
LM: We continuously expand capacity to accommodate the increased number of global clinical studies being conducted. We are also very excited about our Phase I facility. When ready, it will be a new addition to our integrated offering bringing another level of convenience to our clients.
Being proactive and maintaining a comprehensive understanding of potential threats, and changes in the regulatory landscape has been paramount to our ability to create valuable solutions for our clients.
OSP: Anything to add?
LM: At Yourway, we are grateful for the partnerships we have been developing with our clients since our foundation 25 years ago. We are very committed to working as an extension of our clients’ teams, making sure that what is important to them is important to us. We will continue to ensure that we offer solutions that allow our clients to focus on scientific activities while we focus on the execution of all services that support moving science forward. That's what we're here for.