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Pharmaceutical Packaging Company Expands Lehigh Valley Facility

By Colin McEvoy on May 8, 2019

A 2016 photo of Sharp Packaging Solutions' building on Penn Am Drive in Upper Macungie Township.

A 2016 photo of Sharp Packaging Solutions’ building on Penn Am Drive in Upper Macungie Township.

Sharp Packaging Solutions, a global market-leading packaging company for the life sciences industry, has invested $21 million to expand U.S. packaging capacity and capabilities to its campus in Upper Macungie Township.

This marks the latest in a series of expansions and improvements to the Lehigh Valley facilities operated by Sharp, which also completed a $23 million relocation of its storage and distribution services to its Bethlehem Township, Northampton County facility last year.

“We are seeing increased demand for our packaging capabilities from clients across the biotech industry, with the injectables sector growing significantly in recent years,” said Kevin Orfan, U.S. President of Sharp Packaging Solutions.

“We are making these capacity expansions on behalf of our clients and through our parent company UDG Healthcare,” Orfan said. “Sharp has invested continuously to keep pace with demand for our services. This expansion is intended to support that demand into the future.”

The latest expansion in the Upper Macungie Township campus includes a co-investment with one of Sharp’s clients and represents the third phase of development of its Biotechnology Center of Excellence, according to the company.

New equipment installations will include vial labellers as well as a cold sterilization system, Orfan said.

Last year, Sharp completed the relocation of its storage and distribution services to a new facility in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VI in Bethlehem Township. The $23 million investment allows the facility to provide such services as clinical manufacturing, formulation development, analytical services, packaging, clinical storage, and distribution.

“With the capabilities on offer at Bethlehem we provide greater capacity, scalability and automation to our clients and can simultaneously support multiple global phase III studies,” Frank Lis, president of Sharp Clinical Services, said at the time.

Additionally, in 2016, Sharp increased its packaging capacity by 30 percent as the result of a $45 million expansion to its Lehigh Valley campus. The company purchased and renovated a 112,000 square-foot building adjacent to its existing 270,000 square-foot contract packaging facilities at 7451 and 7529 Keebler Way.

Building four in Sharp’s Lehigh Valley campus opened as the company’s Injectables Center of Excellence in April 2016. When the facility was built, it included an additional area of undeveloped space of approximately 21,500 square feet, according to the company.

Subsequent investment doubled pre-filled syringe (PFS), autoinjector, and pen assembly and increased cold storage capacity at the site as part of the company’s drive to meet growing demand from the injectable device and biologics markets, Orfan said.

The company has invested significantly in its global facilities over recent years, including $11 million on its new Clinical Services Centre of Excellence in Wales, and an additional $11 million on enhancing its injectable and cold chain capabilities in the U.S., Belgium and the Netherlands.

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