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Refrigerated Warehousing and Logistics Is Big Business for Biotech And Healthcare

Posted Jun 02 2010 11:53pm

Have you participated in any clinical trials where any tissue samples were needed?  Chances are they may be stored in refrigerated warehouse.  Why do they do this?  Sometimes the tissue is needed for additional studies so rather than go repeat something that has already been done, the samples are available. image

One company mentioned here, BioStorage also coordinate shipments and there are 2 scheduled 747 flights between the US and Germany, where a second location of BioStorage is located.  When you stop and think – 2 747 jets full of biotech samples, etc.

Schenker is the logistics company in charge, a remembrance back to an earlier life for me here as I spent over 25 years in logistics myself.  Also I might mention for small packages that contain biotech cargo, FedEx has a special service to where you can track a shipment 24/7, even in the air. 

FedEx also has a working agreement with CryoPort for shipping biotech materials.  As you can see the days of “dry ice” are just about all but gone, at least in the biotech and healthcare areas.  BD 

Pharmaceutical and biotech firms long ago outsourced transportation of their bio material and finished drugs.
Outsourcing management and storage of samples they collect for clinical trials and other work—not so much.
Until now. In the past few years, a handful of cold storage facilities have sprouted locally by playing to Indianapolis’ strengths in warehousing and life sciences.
Companies such as BioStorage Technologies Inc. have helped pioneer and define the emergence of third-party cold-chain storage for the pharma and biotech industries.

One BioStorage client, a drug company, learned the hard way by not preserving samples—and getting slapped by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“A repeat trial could have been avoided … They ended up third to the market” at a loss of $800 million, said Lori Ball, senior vice president of BioStorage image .

BioStorage also bar codes, labels and stores blood bio samples for Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., one of the biggest makers of defibrillators. The samples are a key in Medtronic’s investigation of genetics in life-threatening heart arrhythmias.
Now with about 75 employees, BioStorage claims to have the world’s largest purpose-built clinical trial repository. It also has a facility in Germany.

So highly regulated is the supply chain, from manufacturing to delivery, that BioStorage runs its new freezers and refrigerators through a four-step validation process before putting them into service.

A lot of drug developers are storing samples longer term, hoping science will “catch up,” Ball said. “The samples we’re storing are being used for that intelligence.”

Examples of Sample Types Stored:

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