Throughout the many developments in state-of-the-art technology and processes at the facility, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, there has always been one priority -- to safely process quality treatments or medicines that save and sustain lives, ensuring that patients have consistent access to therapies derived from the plasma processed there.
"When we look back, we have a lot to be proud of," says
Considered one of the world's largest and most advanced plasma-fractionation facilities, Baxter's
Plasma, available only through qualified donors, is a limited and precious resource -- it takes more than 130 plasma donations to treat just one immune deficient patient for one year. The time between plasma donation and final therapeutic protein can take up to nine months, which makes it imperative that the
"Baxter has a comprehensive portfolio of plasma-derived therapies that address patients' needs," says
Recently, the L.A. site made several updates to its 269,000-square-feet of processing space. In addition to a new central hub that includes office space for support departments and a new cafeteria for the more than 1,300 people who work at the facility, the plant installed new bottle washers, expanded the critical systems that produce reverse osmosis water and water for injection used in processing, and installed a fourth ultra filtration-diafiltration system.
"Upgrades were needed at the L.A. plant to allow us to maintain reliable supply for the patients we support," says Zelaya. "Now, our plant serves over 10,000 more patients per year with IG therapy in 2013 than in 1999."
Focus on sustainability
In addition to maintaining a focus on patients, the plant is also mindful of its impact on its environment and community. The facility has received several awards and recognitions for its commitment to environmental health and safety, including Environmental Resources Management Certification and Validation Services (ERM/CVS) certification for ISO 14001. In 2010, the facility received certification to the OHSAS 180001
The facility also collaborates with an external waste management company to address waste plasma, a biohazardous medical waste that would otherwise be autoclaved and disposed of in a landfill. Plasma paste is instead sent to the
Looking toward the future
Through a focus on biotech innovation, processing excellence, and sustainable practices, Baxter's
"As we celebrate our 60 years, we remember that this is a never ending journey with opportunities to still grow," notes Zelaya. "However, we have the tools and the talent to create a great organization, and by making these important investments, we position the L.A. plant for success in the future."
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