Grifols officially inaugurates new immunoglobulin plant in the United States


15.05.2013
  • The new intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) purification plant is part of Grifols' industrial complex in Los Angeles, and was inaugurated by Antonio R. Villaraigosa and Xavier Trias, the mayors of Los Angeles and Barcelona, respectively
  • Grifols' investment in the Los Angeles complex is worth a total of 135 million dollars. The new project will generate over 200 direct jobs
  • The plant has a total built area of 9,000 m2 and an initial purification capacity of 8 million grammes of IVIG per year, with the option to expand this up to 16 million grammes in a second phase

Barcelona, May 14 2013: Grifols (MCE:GRF, MCE:GRF.P and NASDAQ:GRFS), a leader in the production of plasma medicines, has officially inaugurated its new plant for the purification of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), the most important and widely consumed plasma protein, which the company markets under the Flebogamma® and Gamunex® brands.

The new plant forms part of Grifols' industrial complex in Los Angeles (United States), and was inaugurated by Antonio R. Villaraigosa and Xavier Trias, the mayors of Los Angeles and Barcelona, respectively. During the ceremony, the company's President and CEO, Victor Grifols, thanked both sets of authorities for their ongoing support for Grifols' mission of improving the health and well-being of people throughout the world, and on behalf of all the company's employees he presented a letter of thanks in recognition of the important work they perform on behalf of their cities, Los Angeles and Barcelona.

Grifols has invested a total of 135 million dollars in Los Angeles, as part of the group's strategic plans for organic growth. This new project is one of the new actions designed to gradually expand Grifols' manufacturing capacity in Spain and the United States, a move that will be paralleled by an increase in the group's plasma fractionation and protein purification capacity.

The new Los Angeles plant will have the capacity to purify up to 8 million grammes of IVIG during its first phase of operation, with the possibility of expanding this to 16 million grammes per year during a second phase.

The facilities were designed by Grifols Engineering S.A., a Grifols company specializing in engineering pharmaceutical and biotechnology processes. The plant incorporates the very latest equipment, to ensure that the purification process for this plasma protein is characterized by the very highest levels of safety, quality and efficacy.

In addition, the plant has cutting edge technology to reduce the environmental impact of its activity by reducing the use of water and energy. When the plant becomes operational, over 200 new jobs will be created.

About intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and protein purification

Once the plasma has been fractionated or separated, each of the proteinsobtained must be purified and undergo a rigorous process to inactivate any infectious agents before the filling stage.

The new plant in the United States will be dedicated exclusively to the purification of IVIG.

IVIGs are the most important and most widely consumed plasma proteins. This purified plasma fraction contains the antibodies that provide the body with its antibodies or immune defenses, and for this reason it is indicated in the treatment of primary immunodeficiency and some secondary immunodeficiency, and also for neurological diseases.

Grifols markets its IVIG under the Flebogamma® and Gamunex® brands, and has the first and only IVIG approved in the United States and Canada to treat chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), a neurological disorder characterized by progressive weakening and deterioration of sensory function in the arms and legs. It is also registered in the United States for subcutaneous use in the treatment of primary immunodeficiency.

About Grifols in the United States

Grifols began to consolidate its business in the United States with its acquisition of 48 plasma donor centers in March 2002.

The company currently has 150 plasma donor centers distributed throughout the country. In 2012 it obtained 5.8 million liters of plasma from these centers.

Grifols has two plasma testing laboratories in Texas (United States). These are located in the cities of San Marcos and Austin. At these facilities, the plasma collected at the donor centers is analyzed to ensure that the raw material is of top quality and absolutely safe. The company also has manufacturing facilities in the United States and Spain to fractionate and purify the different proteins contained in plasma.

Grifols' total installed fractionation capacity (in Spain and the USA) currently stands at 8.5 million liters of plasma per year. Future plans provide for this to rise to over 12 million liters by 2016, with the new intravenous immunoglobulin purification plant in Los Angeles forming a key element of this strategy. 

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