Thermo Fisher Scientific expands New York cell culture media manufacturing site

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

The New York site. Pic: Thermo Fisher
The New York site. Pic: Thermo Fisher

Related tags: Thermo fisher, Thermo fisher scientific, Cell culture, Cell culture media, Us, cell and gene therapies, Vaccines, bioprocessing

A $76m investment in the facility in Grand Island, New York, will increase capacity to produce raw materials used in manufacture of vaccines and biologic therapies.

Noting rising global demand for cell culture media, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced today it is expanding the dry powder media manufacturing facility.

The Grand Island expansion is part of a $650m multi-year investment from Thermo Fisher, which seeks to boost the company's total manufacturing capacity in North America, Europe and Asia with flexible, scalable and reliable bioprocessing facilities.

AOF manufacturing space

The Grand Island expansion adds more than 45,000 square feet (4180.6 sq. m) of Animal Origin Free (AOF) manufacturing space. This includes facilities for the manufacture of Thermo Fisher’s Advanced Granulation Technology (AGT) format and other AOF Dry Powder Media (DPM) products.

The additional capacity will help accelerate the development and production of biotherapeutics and vaccines by biopharmaceutical manufacturers, biotechnology developers and CDMOs working with biologics, biosimilars, cell therapies and viral vectors.

Thermo Fisher already employs more than 1,600 people at the site: and the expansion will add around 100 more team members across R&D, operations, manufacturing, HR, engineering and maintenance roles. The company employs more than 3,000 people across New York.

Dr Kate Torchilin, president, biologicals and chemicals at Thermo Fisher Scientific, said that the investment has duplicated the existing manufacturing facility, process capabilities and equipment to provide production redundancy and shorten product manufacturing lead times for customers. 

“Our expanded Grand Island site represents a significant milestone in our investment to double our total manufacturing capacity by the end of 2023,”​ she said. “With the harmonized capabilities of our global manufacturing sites that enable us to prove equivalency in manufacturing, we’re able to support current demand while priming for future growth and continuously enhancing our customer experience globally.”

A key product manufactured at the site is Thermo Fisher’s Gibco cell culture media line, which has been produced at Grand Island for 60 years. Gibco has been used - or is being used - to develop and manufacture more than 250 commercial biologics, covering cell and gene therapies, mAbs, and vaccines.

Global capacity expansion

Thermo Fisher Scientific's $650m capital investment program, announced last year​, covers bioprocessing production across 11 manufacturing sites in North America, Europe and Asia.

Capacity expansion projects in Miami, Florida, and Inchinnan, Scotland are also increasing production capacity for Gibco cell culture media, supplements, and process liquids as well as the manufacturing of customer-owned proprietary media formulations.

Other projects include new single-use technology production sites in Nashville and Singapore; as well as expansion projects in Logan, Utah; Suzhou, China; Bedford, Mass., and Chelmsford, Mass.

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