Earlier this year, the global healthcare giant, Grifols, had revealed that it was collaborating with the federal government to develop a plasma-based antibody treatment for COVID-19. In partnership with The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), it would collect convalescent plasma, or the plasma of (qualified) COVID-19 survivors, across the country and use it to manufacture “the first specific drug developed to combat COVID-19.”
Now, Grifols is expanding its North Carolina operations with a staggering investment of $351.6 million.
The expansion involves the construction of a new blood-plasma facility and logistics center at its manufacturing campus in Clayton, Johnston County. The announcement was made by Ray Cooper, governor of North Carolina, in which he also reported that the expansion will bring 300 jobs to Johnston County.
According to Grifols, a leading international supplier of plasma-based medicines, the new facility is a fractionation center. Fractionation is the process of separating or isolating the proteins in your donated plasma. It is these precious proteins that life-saving therapies are based upon.
Doug Burns, President of Grifols Therapeutics, explained, “True to Grifols mission of improving the health and well-being of patients, our new state-of-the-art fractionation facility will help meet the growing demand for plasma-derived medicines in the United States and around the world.”
However, while such advancements greatly help the cause, one of the biggest challenges to therapy availability remains to be an irregular supply of plasma. To meet the demand, we need more of such advancements and more and more people to donate plasma, regularly.
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