February 7, 2019

Marken to double size of Philadelphia drug-handling facility

UPS unit also launches system to return and reuse temperature-controlled packaging.

By DC Velocity Staff

Pharmaceutical logistics specialist Marken continues to enhance its offerings for clinical trials shipments, expanding its Philadelphia package facility and announcing today a service for returning the industry's expensive, specialty packaging units to their shipping origins so clients can clean and reuse them.

The Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based firm, which is a unit of logistics and transportation giant UPS Inc., said this week that it would double the size of its Philadelphia clinical drug handling facility to include more space for logistics operations, including a storage and distribution center that is compliant with the medical industry's good manufacturing practices (GMP) standards. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s GMP requirements are intended to ensure consistent quality in pharmaceutical production.

Marken will build an 11,000-square foot depot alongside its existing site near Philadelphia International Airport, which will offer temperature-controlled capabilities and limited packaging and labeling services. The company also plans to develop future storage for genetically modified organisms (GMO) to meet increased demand in cell and gene therapies.

"The new and expanded space in Philadelphia will allow synergies between our key operating branch in Philadelphia and a new GMP depot / distribution center," Marken CEO Wes Wheeler said in a release. "We will be able to provide all of our clinical logistics services under one roof, ensuring streamlined and efficient solutions for our clients. It is Marken's strategy and ultimate goal to create a complete end-to-end supply chain featuring: logistics, customer service, storage, distribution and labelling services from each of our global GMP locations."

Marken also launched its offering of a packaging returns process, saying the system works through an automated, closed-loop solution that allows reusable packaging to return to its origin for reconditioning and repositioning.

Marken created the service by collaborating with providers of temperature-controlled packaging and by leveraging its access to UPS' small package network. The service operates out of the firm's Philadelphia, Frankfurt, and Paris branches, with place to expand to other locations in 2019.

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