GE Healthcare Life Sciences has announced a $7m expansion project at its single-use technology manufacturing facility in Westborough, US.

The expanded site will manufacture a range of single-use products, including cell growth bags, based on a newly developed film platform resulting from GE’s strategic alliance with Sealed Air.

With global demand predicted to exceed $3bn by 2020, single-use bioprocessing technologies are playing an increasingly vital role to biologic producers, helping them accelerate capacity expansion and improve productivity to support faster delivery of targeted therapies to patient populations.

GE’s tripling of production-dedicated cleanroom capacity at Westborough and upskilling of more than 300 personnel will enable the business to confidently meet increasing market demand well into the future. In addition, the installation of automated production lines will drive manufacturing efficiency and improved process controls to ensure product quality and consistency.

Developed in collaboration with Sealed Air expressly for biomanufacturing, the new film platform supports exceptional cell growth and application robustness. It will be used in the manufacture of all single-use products at the Westborough site.

In parallel, GE Healthcare Life Sciences has established an enlarged extractables and leachables (E&L) analytical laboratory in Uppsala to support in-depth characterisation of the potential impact of E&L compounds across all production processes and future novel single-use technology materials.

General manager of bioprocess at GE Healthcare’s life sciences business Jan Makela said: “Biopharmaceuticals are complex to make, requiring a dependable, consistent supply of high-quality manufacturing technologies. Single-use is top of mind for our customers, for its ability to flex production to meet market needs.

“The launch of our new film with Sealed Air, the investment in single-use manufacturing in Westborough, and the enlarged E&L capabilities in Sweden confirm our on-going commitment to minimising risk and assuring security of supply for our customers around the globe.

“Our enhanced position in single-use bioprocessing ensures we are fully prepared to support the industry’s rapid growth.”