Sartorius Stedim and SAFC Collaborate to Combine Upstream and Downstream Expertise

August 6, 2009

Sartorius Stedim Biotech (Goettingen, Germany) and SAFC Biosciences (St. Louis, MO), a division of SAFC, have entered into a partnership to share expertise, support each other in developing custom solutions for customers, and generate data on the performance of equipment in different applications.

Sartorius Stedim Biotech (Goettingen, Germany) and SAFC Biosciences (St. Louis, MO), a division of SAFC, have entered into a partnership to share expertise, support each other in developing custom solutions for customers, and generate data on the performance of equipment in different applications.

"This partnership extends our ability to provide customized solutions for our customers," said Bruce Lehr, director of marketing for SAFC, referring to SAFC's offerings in cell culture materials, and Sartorius Stedim's portfolio of separation and purification equipment, liquid handling systems, and disposable bioreactors. "We will be able to rely on each other's expertise, and combine our product offerings in ways that add value."

Maik Jornitz, group VP of product management at Sartorius Stedim Biotech, says this combination is particularly valuable because of the need to look at manufacturing processes holistically. "You may be able to develop an upstream process with high yield, but that is not the only critical factor-you need a cell culture process that works well with your downstream process," he said. "By combining our expertise, we can evaluate the impact of any unit operation on the overall process, and offer solutions to optimize it."

In addition, Lehr said, teams are already in place to develop data packages on how the two companies' products work in combination, such as data on filter and mixing performance using specific buffers or cell culture media, and filter–bag combinations.

Jornitz said this work will be a natural extension of the companies' shared philosophy of acting as consultants to their customers. "We already develop data packages so that we can tell our customers which filter will work best for their processes, whether the product is ours or a competitor's," he said. "What matters to the client is that they get the optimal setup. Now, we can do that better by combining our expertise with that of SAFC, to expand those data packages."

"One of the key things that drew us together was that we have very similar business models," said Lehr. "We both work very closely with our customers to provide customized solutions that add value."

The two companies expect to begin formally offering combined solutions by the fourth quarter of this year, but will start engaging in conversations with customers before that. "We already have some clients we are working with together," said Lehr.