In a ribbon-cutting ceremony, member of parliament (MP) for Salisbury and South Wiltshire John Glen officially opened Porton Biopharma’s (PBL) new fermentation facility, which will be used to manufacture the company’s life-saving leukaemia drug Erwinase®.
The state-of-the-art facility has been designed and built around a new 3,000l fermenter, which is a significant increase over existing capacity and will enable PBL to increase the amount of product it will be able to manufacture in the future.
The new multi-million-pound building has a footprint of approximately 2100m2. This includes the main fermentation hall, down-stream processing rooms for harvesting product, plus all the associated services of purified water, steam, air and effluent treatment that are required in a modern pharmaceutical facility that meets the latest regulatory standards.
These systems have been designed to interact seamlessly and are operated by the latest process-control system. This will enable PBL’s production technicians to easily view and control any of the component parts via a series of hi-tech interactive screens.
Director of engineering for PBL Mike Raine said “Today represents an important milestone where we can see the physical results of all the hard work in the design, planning and build that have gone into this project. We are now looking forward to the next challenge of qualifying and validating the equipment to ensure that everything is working as specified, before going into full production sometime over the next year.”
Commenting on the ceremony, John Glen said, “I was delighted to be welcomed back to open this new facility after having performed the ground-breaking ceremony in May 2016, the transformation of the site is astounding. Having this facility in Wiltshire is also a superb local example of the government’s industrial strategy, which specifically includes supporting the life-sciences sector and building prosperous communities, a good news event for Salisbury!”.
Dr Roger Hinton MD of PBL said “We are looking forward to the day when this facility comes on-line because that, along with the other investments that we have made, means that we will be able to meet the growing global demand for our product. This helps to grow the value of Porton Biopharma Limited, but most importantly it means that we will be able to save the lives of more children who suffer from this form of leukaemia in future.”