Airgas has announced it has signed a five-year services agreement with the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) located in Philadelphia, PA.

Under the terms of the agreement, Airgas provides off-site cryogenic repository services for long-term storage of research samples. Airgas cryogenic storage systems use nitrogen-cooled freezers with a temperature of minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the integrity of samples for future research.

$quot;As a leading clinical research organisation, UPHS needed to expand their existing cryogenic storage, but lacked the needed space,$quot; said Tony Simonetta, Airgas East Vice President and General Manager for eastern Pennsylvania.

$quot;Airgas established an off-site cryogenic repository, complete with freezers, liquid nitrogen bulk tanks, monitoring, monthly reporting, and double-layered security systems. The facility is owned by Airgas, operated by Airgas cryogenic technicians, and provides the right solution for UPHS needs.$quot;

$quot;UPHS joins a wide range of life sciences customers across the country that rely on Airgas cryogenic gases, services, and expertise every day.$quot;

$quot;We were running out of viable options for finding additional space for storing critical research samples,$quot; said Wayne Smith, UPHS associate vice president, corporate materials management. $quot;Airgas offers a completely turn-key solution for us.$quot;

Airgas maintains a strategic organization focusing on specific market segments to fully understand customer challenges and provide custom-tailored solutions. Airgas market segment leaders work with account managers and teams within Airgas' business units, including 12 Airgas regional organizations and more than 850 branch locations nationwide to provide the right solutions for a broad array of customers. Along with Airgas East, the Airgas universities, commercial labs, and nanotechnology group is working with the University of Pennsylvania.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania - the nation's first teaching hospital, recognised as one of the nation's top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center - named one of the top 100 hospitals for cardiovascular care by Thomson Reuters for six years; and Pennsylvania Hospital - the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751, nationally recognised for excellence in orthopaedics, obstetrics & gynecology, and behavioral health.

Additional patient care facilities and services include Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse, a Philadelphia campus offering inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient care in many specialties; as well as a primary care provider network; a faculty practice plan; home care and hospice services; and several multispecialty outpatient facilities across the Philadelphia region.