Saying that its Allentown, PA campus has been expanded three times since 2014, Sharp Packaging has now added 112,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and storage space, while moving several packaging lines to consolidate temperature-controlled biologics packaging in one building, and adding more packaging lines in others. In addition to the new packaging lines, the new space includes storage capacity for up to 600 pallets in 2-8°C refrigerated space—a doubling of this capacity. Qualification and commissioning of the addition to the Allentown Center of Excellence was completed in April, 2016, and Sharp commenced commercial packaging activities in June.
The $45-million investment includes “serialization ready” setups to accommodate looming deadlines for providing unique serial numbers on pharma packages by November 2017 (as well as the serialization requirements for export markets). Many contract packagers are currently scrambling to be ready for that deadline, but Sharp has been serializing product since 2009, with over two billion units serialized in six different formats for 35 client programs, from bottle and individual blister to pallets in support of seven international programs, according to the company. With the addition of the new capabilities at the Center of Excellence, Sharp will be offering serialization at five of its packaging sites, with the intention of adding 4-5 lines per quarter through 2017.
“Customers with specialty drugs and biologics require complex equipment,” said Doug Hill, SVP and GM of Sharp Packaging Solutions, in a statement. “We have customers with vials that need labeling and serialization, syringes with a label pack-out, oral thin film strips and then those with automatic, self-injected devices requiring special assembly. With our new facility, we have the dedicated space to meet the most demanding requirements.”