Cytiva, a global life sciences leader, is opening a new 11 000 sqm manufacturing facility in Cardiff, Wales. The site, part of a two year $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) global expansion plan, has begun to make mixer bags, flow kits and tubing assemblies which will later be shipped to customers.
These technologies are used in the development and production of biopharmaceuticals such as COVID-19 vaccines. Hiring is ongoing to fill 250 new jobs to staff the facility.
Mary Blenn, VP of Global Supply Chain at Cytiva, said: "Since 2020, we have invested and significantly increased global capacity to address our customers' growing needs. We continue to expand with new manufacturing sites, such as that in Cardiff. This facility also gives us an enhanced presence in the UK, allowing us to provide more regional options to our customers there."
The first cleanroom has been installed and validated in nine months
Bringing more biomanufacturing to the UK also supports the country's rapidly growing life sciences sector.
In 2021, £4.5 billion ($6 billion) was raised in public and private financing by UK biotech companies, a 60% increase compared to 2020. While the UK leads Europe with discovery research and start-up funding, a lack of domestic manufacturing has meant scaling up often happens offshore. Building regional manufacturing, such as that in Cardiff, can help address the current needs of the industry while establishing capabilities that support long-term growth.
Inside the factory
Cytiva integrates sustainability into its operations. Energy meters are installed throughout the new Cardiff site to optimise electricity use and reduce overall consumption. The team are also investigating the use of 'dynamic' cleanroom controls which would reduce power use by up to 60%. Finally, the new neighbouring offices will run very close to carbon neutral.
Making biotechnology products involves careful preparation and assembly in highly controlled environments. By the end of 2022, there will be six ISO Class 7 cleanrooms in Cardiff. This class means the air is filtered at least 30 times an hour and operators follow strict quality control procedures. The first cleanroom has been installed and validated in nine months through working with Connect 2 Cleanrooms, a global cleanroom design and build specialist to verify airflow performance.
The team are also investigating the use of 'dynamic' cleanroom controls which would reduce power use by up to 60%
Joe Govier, CEO of Connect 2 Cleanrooms, explained: 'Drawing on our 20 years' experience, our team is proud to work with Cytiva to design, build and validate the cleanrooms in Cardiff. The drive for this project was qualification and scale. This work ultimately advances and accelerates biotherapeutics and it's been a pleasure to work with Cytiva on this high-profile project."
Thousands of units of product are expected to be shipped globally from Cardiff in 2022. Construction on five more cleanrooms will be completed later this year. When complete, the new site will help increase Cytiva's global manufacturing capacity for single-use products by 20%.
Also critical in delivering the finished factory and support facilities for Cytiva has been Bristol-based 'Ridge & Partners' and South Wales-based 'Carpentry World'.
Recruitment is ongoing in Cardiff to hire manufacturing staff, management as well as warehouse operators, material handlers, and R&D scientists. Cytiva is also hiring globally to facilitate its expansion plans. Go here to see all the roles available.