Marken, a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS dedicated to the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, will be expanding Its cryogenic service locations to facilitate global cell and gene therapy trials.

Marken’s expanded network now includes facilities in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Frankfurt, Singapore and Tokyo. Johannesburg will be added later this year to complete the global network. The combination of its expanded locations and packaging fleet allows Marken to meet client demands in a rapidly growing industry.

Ultra-low temperature transportation has become an increasingly important supply chain requirement for cell, gene or immunotherapy-based medicines. The complex process of extracting human cells and transporting them across country borders under strict time and temperature requirements pose significant challenges for the logistics industry.

Materials derived from patient samples are usually bio-hazardous, have a short shelf life and must reach the manufacturing site within 28-48 hours of the patient visit. Regulators also require ‘chain of identity’ assurance that each patient has received his or her own individualized medicine. Marken’s expanded cryogenic network of liquid nitrogen filling locations and specialized fleet of packaging will allow its clients to recruit and treat patients from a greater number of countries around the world.

The global gene therapy market is projected to grow to $363m by 2022. An estimated 2,200 clinical trials are expected to drive this growth and will focus on oncology, rare diseases, Parkinson’s, HIV, severe combined immuno-deficiencies (SCID) and hemophilia. The majority of these trials are projected to take place in the US, Europe, Canada and China.

Wes Wheeler, Marken’s CEO, commented, “We continue to see an increase in the demand for cell and gene therapy trial shipments. We are committed to building the largest cryogenic service network in the clinical logistics industry in order to serve our clients who are engaged in immunotherapy research.”