Across our three business units of Research Solutions, Process Solutions and Applied Solutions, our R&D teams, composed of approximately 2,000 employees, continue to bring expertise and a diversified and relevant portfolio of products and services to our customers around the world. In 2021, our Life Science business sector focused on delivering breakthrough innovations for our academic, biopharmaceutical and industrial customers.
As such, we launched more than 15,000 products in 2021, including those launched through our “faucet program” for antibodies, reference materials, chemicals and nanomaterials. These included key innovations from all our business units, such as our GenElute™-E Single Spin purification kits; ProCellics™ Raman Analyzer with Bio4C™ PAT Raman Software, and a new Milli-Q® EQ 7000 Type 1 water purification system.
In May, we introduced a new solution improving productivity in the lab through a more flexible and streamlined nucleic acid purification process. GenElute™-E kits reduce traditional silica-based workflow hands-on time from about 45 minutes to only three minutes. The technology workflow also reduces plastic waste on average by 55%, compared with traditional methods, and eliminates overnight processing requirements.
In September, the Millicell® DCI Digital Cell Imager was introduced for fast, accurate, and objective cell monitoring. Besides assessing common cell culture parameters and growth trends for more consistent cell cultures, it expands capabilities with off–device cloud storage and a web-based app for data analysis, sorting, and archiving. With the instrument, it’s possible to collect critical insights without risking sample contamination from manual cell culture handling.
Also in September, we introduced the ColorWheel® flow cytometry antibodies and dyes, a lyophilized product for enhanced stability and ambient shipping that allows for more flexibility for scientists to pair any antibody with any dye in their flow cytometry workflows.
In March, we received a patent for an improved CRISPR genome-editing method in Japan. Our proxy-CRISPR technology provides a solution to improve genome editing and advance new possibilities for research. This marks our second CRISPR patent in Japan and our 38th CRISPR patent. Our 39th and 40th CRISPR patents were also allowed in May by the European Patent Office and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, respectively, which are directed to our CRISPR-chrom and CRISPR vector technologies.
In September, we launched the ProCellics™ Raman Analyzer with Bio4C™ PAT Raman Software, continuing to pave the way to Bioprocessing 4.0. This new time-saving product, which won the “Best New Product/Service” award at Interphex 2021, enables greater upstream process optimization, helps reduce the risk of contamination and batch failures and provides added flexibility to operators.
In October, we launched the new technology Chetosensar™, giving new promise to antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) that were previously terminated by alleviating the solubility challenges and expanded capacity to advance ADC therapies. These initiatives underscore our continued investment in novel modalities and support our efforts to double our ADC and High-Potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (HPAPI) capacity in the near future.
In October, we also signed an agreement licensing our patented CRISPR-Cas9 technology to Cellecta, Inc., a functional genomics products and services provider based in Mountain View, California, United States. Through the licensing of its innovative technology, we are paving the path for researchers and scientists to identify and accelerate next generation treatments. Cellecta provides RNAi and CRISPR technologies for the discovery and characterization of novel therapeutic targets and genetic profiling for drug and biomarker discovery and validation, leading the way for developing highly effective next-generational treatments. Cellecta plans to use the foundational CRISPR patent estate for CRISPR-mediated targeted “knock-in”, a critical method that gives scientists more efficient options for complex projects in therapeutic and disease research.
In November, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Korea-based bio-venture company, GI Innovation, to further research and development of critical life-saving cancer treatments, as well as drugs for allergy-related conditions. Through the mutual agreement, we will support GI Innovation with technologies and services including CHOZN® platform, cell culture media, and overall process consulting and technical support.
In December, we announced a strategic collaboration with biotechnology companies Innovative Biotech to design the manufacturing process for the first vaccine production facility in Nigeria.
In January, we launched the new Milli-Q® EQ 7000 Type 1 water purification system to expand our benchtop ultrapure water system portfolio. The new Milli-Q® EQ 7000 system produces consistent ultrapure water quality that is easily customized to experimental requirements, strengthening our Milli-Q® ultrapure water offering.
The € 35 million expansion project to build a second lateral flow membrane manufacturing product line in Cork, Ireland, was completed this year, and commercial manufacturing commenced over the summer. The new casting line more than doubles our lateral flow membrane capacity.
Additionally, earlier this year, three of our Milli-Q® water purification systems were designated Greener Alternative Products. The Milli-Q® IQ 7000, IQ 7003, and IQ 7010 water purification systems were innovated not only to be more compact but also to use less water, plastic, and electricity.
In December, the U.S. government awarded a € 121 million contract ($136.7 USD) for the construction of a lateral flow membrane production facility, over a three-year period, at the company’s United States site in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The contract, received from the U.S. Department of Defense, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is part of an effort to ensure secure local supply and production capacity for critical products for pandemic preparedness.
Recognized for Award-Winning Innovation
In April, we were named 2021 Charitable Supplier of the Year and 2021 Protein Supplier of the Year by the CiteAb Awards. These awards, from a leading life science data provider, celebrate the top suppliers and individuals in the research reagent sector worldwide, helping researchers and their suppliers make more informed decisions.
In June, our Madison, Wisconsin, United States, site was awarded “Best New HPAPI Facility” at the 2021 HPAPI Summit. This new 70,000-square-foot facility doubles our HPAPI kilo lab capacity and enables us to expedite the manufacture of HPAPIs, ADC linker/payloads, and complex APIs. With our new expanded facility, we will be the largest single-digit occupational exposure limit CDMO provider in the world.
In September, we signed a partnership with the Federal University of Goiás State, Brazil to create an Innovation and Technology Hub. The partnership will enable the implementation of a prototyping and a training center for rapid diagnostic tests. The new space is the first in Brazil to concentrate molecular biology techniques, electrochemical biosensors and rapid tests by lateral flow immunochromatography in one laboratory.
In November, we announced that we will support SaudiVax Ltd., based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to design a best-in-class, multi-modality manufacturing facility to localize manufacturing of biologics and vaccines for the MENA region. SaudiVax is positioned to become the first developer and manufacturer of Halal vaccines and biotherapeutics in Saudi Arabia, leveraging our integrated Contract Development Manufacturing Services (CDMO), innovative product offerings and single-use technologies.
* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.