Proliant BSA in Asia: China opens door to NZ bovine blood

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Following months of importation restrictions, Proliant Biologicals has announced it is eligible to export bovine serum albumin (BSA) from its Feilding, New Zealand-based facility to China.

Iowa, US-headquartered Proliant is one of 16 companies cleared to supply bovine blood products – including those used in biopharmaceutical manufacturing - from New Zealand to China after the latter granted access to its market last month.

While Proliant did not disclose specifics, a spokesperson told Biopharma-Reporter, “The Chinese approves these companies because they have all met the Chinese regulations for pharmaceutical and technical bovine blood products.”

The spokesperson said that while Proliant sells BSA – which can be used in growth media for cell culture and bacteria, and as carriers and stabilisers for kits and vaccines – to Western companies, its Feilding facility will take this opportunity to ship to Chinese firms.

“With the Chinese border now open to Proliant New Zealand and its BSA, it is Proliant’s goal to help support the continued growth of the Chinese diagnostic, life science, vaccine, and cell culture markets, among others,” ​said the firm.

Increased demand

Despite an anticipated increase in demand for BSA from clients - which include biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, and vaccine-focused companies, as well as researchers – the spokesperson told us Proliant is prepared.

“Proliant is in the early stages of supplying BSA to China and we do anticipate a significant volume of sales in this market.”

“Proliant definitely has the capacity to handle the demands currently identified and the growth projected,”​ the spokesperson said.

NZ opportunity

When announcing​ the regulatory changes, NZ primary industries minister Nathan Guy said the exportation of bovine blood products to China is an opportunity for New Zealand producers.  

Before 2015, New Zealand exported some bovine blood products to China, however with formal access now negotiated between the two countries, Guy said it gives the industry more certainty.

“We have an enviable disease status compared with many countries, which means our bovine products are widely sought after by a range of markets across the globe,”​ Guy said.

Proliant said that along with the other approved companies, it must follow the requirements specified in the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries OMAR​ (overseen market access requirements) notification.

Bovine testing

Last week​ GE Healthcare and testing service firm Oritain announced a partnership in order to authenticate another bovine product – foetal bovine serum (FBS) – for cell therapy firms.

The agreement will compare FBS with reference samples from low risk source countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, and the US, to address FBS quality issues and serum fraud.

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