SP Scientific Products (SP) has announced one of the world’s largest simultaneous installations of commercial lyophilizers for use in the production of diagnostic tests. The order, for SP lyophilizers, was made last year by a leading global healthcare company in response to the need for an increase in SARS-CoV-2 testing.
With the urgency of the pandemic and requirement for speed, SP was able to complete the delivery of 16 freeze dryers – including manufacturing, testing, and installation – in just four months. To enable this, the company expanded its workforce and re-engineered its manufacturing processes, underlining SP’s increasing reputation for delivering complex freeze drying solutions in short timeframes.
Lyophilization (freeze drying) is a crucial step in the production of diagnostics, vaccines, and biologics, as it stabilizes sensitive biological products to maintain their quality and efficacy and extend shelf life. SP VirTis Benchmark freeze dryers are custom-built lyophilizers made to meet pilot, clinical supply and production demands, and as a world leading provider of fill-finish and freeze drying equipment, SP moved quickly to double its manufacturing capacity in order to supply the surge in demand for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test kits and vaccines.
Commenting on the news, SVP of Operations at SP, David Bull, said: “Our success as a trusted supplier of freeze drying technology has been built on the quality of our products. At the start of the pandemic last year, we looked at how we could restructure our operations and manufacturing capability, which, together with the recruitment of additional personnel, gave us the flexibility to respond to the sudden increase in demand for our freeze drying systems.”
Brian Larkin, SP’s CEO said: “When the COVID-19 crisis struck, it put many elements of the healthcare system under extreme pressure, including the significantly increased need for diagnostic testing. I am really pleased with how we were quickly able to increase manufacturing capacity at our sites in the US and Europe, and realize shorter delivery times in support of the scale-up demands of diagnostic testing kit manufacturers. We are building on this capability so that we can continue to respond to requirements for market leading fill-finish systems by pharmaceutical and diagnostics manufacturers, in short timeframes.”