A decade ago, a small contract manufacturing organization (CMO) was just getting started. They began in a small leased lab space with a small bioreactor at a major private research institution. They got off the ground doing plasma production and development work on a small scale for a few gene therapy customers. At the time, exploring the potential therapeutic uses of genes was a relatively new area of scientific research, and there wasn’t yet a large demand for what the company offered. But they were ahead of the curve; they anticipated the boom in gene therapy research that was just around the corner. In just a few years, they were expanding from that little incubator space into an operation requiring an entire floor of the University of Maryland BioPark building, and then another floor—and eventually they built their own 200,000 square foot facility for large-scale manufacturing.
Thermo Fisher Scientific partnered with and supported the company from the beginning. At first, the limits of business and budget meant the company’s product needs were also modest: from Thermo Fisher, they purchased some media and other consumables for small-scale research and development. They also purchased products, including biocontainers, from other manufacturers.
But with expanded business came new challenges. One of them was a time-sensitive need for a sterilized carboy with a custom-made cap to accommodate a dip tube that could support their increasing volume and flow-rate demands. Thermo Fisher was able to meet that challenge with a quick turnaround on a custom-designed, high-quality Thermo Scientific™ Nalgene™ container. This positive experience encouraged the company to discuss with Thermo Fisher a range of other issues and challenges they faced as they grew.