Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Biotech Firm Is Ready to Produce

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Biotech Firm Is Ready to Produce

Article excerpt

PLASMA 'FRACTIONATOR': Mark Famiglio says company could hire 140

MANATEE COUNTY -- A new biological manufacturer says it is ready to begin separating human blood plasma into products for medical research at a state-of-the-art facility.

Cambryn Biologics LLC, which now employs 14 executives, scientists and laboratory workers, plans to process plasma proteins and enzymes under contract to drug companies and research firms.

Chief executive Mark Famiglio said Tuesday the company could "ramp up to 140 jobs pretty quickly" if necessary, depending on its contracts.

Famiglio, a Sarasota entrepreneur, said his company has invested $50 million in a 75,000-square-foot facility near Sarasota- Bradenton International Airport.

He also said he believes the new company has an edge over other plasma "fractionators" because their plants are often saddled with outdated equipment.

"I think it's great that there is a new business of this type in Sarasota," said Caroline Popper, a Sarasota-based biotechnology consultant.

"Expertise in plasma fractionation could attract people with a set of skills that could transform the life-science environment here."

The separated ingredients of human blood plasma -- including newly discovered proteins that contain biomarkers for certain diseases -- are in heightened demand.

The global market for plasma products, which is expected to reach $36 billion by 2015, has long been dominated by a handful of manufacturers.

That is because the start-up costs for blood plasma fractionating -- which must meet high standards for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing -- have been a bar to new entries.

Famiglio said Cambryn has installed the latest processing capabilities, which allow for cleaner and faster plasma separation in disposable plastic containers. Established manufacturers in the field mostly have stainless steel equipment, which is more costly to keep sterilized. …

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