Expansion of Cold Chain Infrastructure with Dedicated -40°C Facility

Purpose-built state-of-the-art Cold Chain facility opens in Rockford, IL

PCI is pleased to announce the completion of a purpose built -40°C storage and distribution facility at our North American Clinical Services Center of Excellence.

The site, located in Rockford, IL, features packaging and labeling services, logistical services for global storage and distribution, as well as onsite analytical laboratory services. The Rockford location provides extensive end-to-end support for Cold Chain requirements, with temperatures including 15-25°C, 2-8°C, -20°C, -40°C, -80°C as well as cryogenic storage at -196°C, and is one of eight global locations supporting medicines destined to more than 100 countries around the world.

We initiated the design of the dedicated -40° facility with very specific requirements based on the unique infrastructure needs set forth by the client. With a collaborative approach, we provided insights and expertise from our vast Cold Chain experience to deliver the optimal solution to ensure conformance to the drug requirements as well as mitigate various risk factors in the global supply chain.

The completed specialized Cold Chain storage facility spans more than 10,000 square feet and features a 300-pallet controlled storage capacity designed to provide planned redundancies for the critical storage needs of the life-saving drug product.

Our Director of Facilities Engineering, Russ Stevens, was the principle lead on the specialized project build. He commented: “We have decades of experience with controlled temperature infrastructure, both controlled temperature packaging and controlled temperature storage, across a
broad range of environmental conditions. It is noteworthy that each temperature parameter provides for unique considerations in managing the conditions and mitigating risks. We engineered a multitude of installed mechanisms to assure continuity of supply, with redundancies in freezers and control units, as well as incorporating protections for infrastructure, fire, power, and many other factors, to the extent that we even took very specialized approaches to the engineering of the concrete foundation. It is truly cutting edge, to the degree that we are utilizing predictive technologies to help mitigate potential failure modes. It has been an amazing collaboration.

Commenting on the new facility, Vice President and General Manager Global Clinical Operations & Supply, Brian Keesee, said: “The new -40°C facility not only demonstrates the Cold Chain expertise of the team here at PCI, but also demonstrates our dedication to our clients and the lengths we go to accommodate the needs of their specialized medicines – no matter the challenge. This particular application had some distinctly unique requirements. Being trusted to help support such an important therapy for patients in need around the world, the team really embraced the opportunity and delivered a fantastic solution. The positive client feedback has been very gratifying, and validated our goal to provide the industry leading customer experience. It is also very inspiring to know we are helping in the battle to treat and hopefully eradicate this disease around the world.

This facilities installation announcement is the latest reflecting our commitment to ongoing expansion and investment in global Cold Chain infrastructure, as well as continuing to make considerable capital investments in facilities and capacity expansion. The Philadelphia facility has recently completed a considerable build out of its 2-8°C Cold Chain storage, complementing other 2-8°C investments across the existing Cold Chain network around the world. Other investments have expanded the frozen and cryogenic storage across our vast supply network.

We have also recently announced the completion and opening of a new building at the Bridgend, Wales, UK Clinical Services Center of Excellence in support of business growth, with specialized Cold Chain and Ultra Cold Chain infrastructure including refrigerated, frozen and cryogenic temperatures, down to -196°C. We have also recently further expanded our global reach with the acquisition of Melbourne, Australia-based Pharmaceutical Packaging Professionals (PPP), providing
greater access to the greater Asia Pacific region. The site features drug manufacturing, packaging and labeling, as well as controlled temperature storage and distribution services.

PCI anticipates further capacity expansions for Cold Chain and Ultra Cold Chain as demand continues to be strong for Biologically-derived medicines as well as the emerging market for Cell and Gene therapies. It is estimated that close to 40 percent of all medicines in pipeline development are new molecular entity Biologics, as well as more than 50 distinct biosimilar compounds targeted towards existing medicines losing patent expiry.