GE Healthcare opens bioprocessing ‘test bed’ for biotechs

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Testa BioProcess Innovation Center, Uppsala, Sweden)
(Image: Testa BioProcess Innovation Center, Uppsala, Sweden)

Related tags Ge healthcare Biotech companies Sweden

The Testa BioProcess Innovation Center in Sweden will help academics, startups, and biopharmaceutical companies secure industrial proof-of-concepts quicker, and with less cost, says GE Healthcare.

GE Healthcare, which recently announced plans to separate from parent company​ General Electric, announced the launch of the 2,500m² Testa Center earlier today. The Uppsala, Sweden-located site houses four bioprocessing laboratories, fitted out with predominantly single-use, GE Healthcare technologies.

The site is designed to promote innovation in biopharmaceutical technology and manufacturing by offering operational support and expertise for project owners. The site offers industry the opportunity to verify digital, technical and biological projects in an authentic production setting.

The centre is owned and operated by GE Healthcare as a non-profit company, however, project owners will retain full control of their intellectual property and data.

According to GE Healthcare, which invested SEK 45m (€4.5m) in the centre, Testa will strengthen the life sciences pool in Sweden.

“Testa Center is a real-life example of a successful public-private partnership that has brought together many key players in Sweden…I believe that many discoveries will be taken to the real world with the help of Testa Center,” ​said CEO of GE Nordics and Testa Centre, Lotta Ljungqvist.

Testa: An impressive test bed, says Swedish government

The Swedish government has invested approximately SEK 100m in the centre, which it expects will boost innovation and competition in the industry.

“Life sciences is a knowledge-intensive sector with a high growth potential,” ​said Sweden’s minister for enterprise and innovation, Mikael Damberg, in an emailed statement.

“This impressive test bed, Testa Center, which GE Healthcare chose to develop in partnership with the government, promotes innovation, strengthens competitiveness, and will help us provide more efficient care in the future,” ​he added.

The Swedish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (LIF) has also voiced its support of the initiative. 

”I am very pleased to see that a large international company chose to make this investment in Sweden, together with the Swedish government. The Testa Center is an innovation centre that can have a positive effect for the pharmaceutical industry as a whole,”​ LIF CEO Anders Blanck told us.

“It is precisely this kind of investment Sweden needs in order for us to become a stronger Life Science nation. I believe this public-private partnership can be very successful,” ​he added

According to Blanck, the pharmaceutical industry and the Swedish government share a common vision of strengthening the research and development of new drugs, as well as advancing the production of pharmaceuticals in Sweden. “Testa Center is an important step in the right direction,” ​he told us. 

BioLamina first to ink Testa deal

According to GE Healthcare, protein-based reagent manufacturer BioLamina has signed on as the first company to run a project at Testa Center, which will see the biotech “scale-up its production capacity, helping it deliver more reagents to its global customer base.”

CEO of BioLamina, Kristian Tryggvason, said the centre will help the firm increase production capacity: “Testa Center gives us a unique possibility to do this internally, instead of relying on large global contract manufacturers.”

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