US-based pharmaceutical company Catalent has undertaken an expansion project at its facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to increase its cold chain packaging capabilities.

As part of the project, the company will extend the packaging area by around 20,000ft².

It will also add seven temperature-controlled processing suites with full serialisation capabilities to enable the facility to operate in both refrigerated and frozen environments.

In addition, Catalent will expand the facility’s ambient areas to provide more space for material storage and packaging operations.

Once completed, the facility will work to address the growing demand for biologic drugs and the distribution of advanced cell and gene therapies.

Catalent clinical supply services commercial and integrated development operation general manager Ann McMahon said: “Advanced therapeutics require increasingly complex handling requirements, and the investment we have made in Philadelphia allows Catalent to operate efficient packaging processes and operations, bridging the gap between clinical scale and niche commercial volumes.

“The specifically designed packaging areas not only provide optimal commercial opportunities for drug developers, but also the safest working conditions for employees in terms of air exchange rates, carbon dioxide monitoring and ultraviolet air sanitisation.”

The 200,000ft² Philadelphia facility is the largest in Catalent’s global clinical supply network and serves as the company’s North American Centre of Excellence for clinical supply packaging.

The facility also houses an on-site pharmacy to support the company’s FlexDirect direct-to-patient services for clinical trials.

In addition, it provides access to Catalent’s FastChain demand-led supply services, primary and secondary packaging capabilities and clinical returns and destruction services, as well as a range of temperature options for various purposes.

Catalent partners with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and consumer health companies to launch personalised medicines, consumer health brand extensions and blockbuster drugs.

The company currently operates more than 50 manufacturing sites worldwide, employing more than 18,000 people in total.