An evolving understanding of the immune system has led to an explosion in the use of flow cytometry in clinical trials not only within the oncology space, but also within the infectious disease and rare disease space (like the cell and gene therapy field). This more detailed analysis can provide information on critical mechanisms behind individual responses to a drug and is essential in determining whether a drug should go to market and which populations will benefit the most.
FlowMetric, a KCAS company, has a long history of partnering with clients to address flow cytometry needs and are making significant investments to continue our leadership position in this space. We have recently quadrupled our lab space in a modern 26,000 square foot facility and purchased the newest and most frequently requested equipment. Our scientists are applying the new equipment and space to more precisely address client research questions, and we have expanded our team to take full advantage of our new capabilities.
KCAS’s New State-of-the-Art Facilities in PA
Within our new lab space, we purchase the highest quality equipment available. We have diversified to new vendors so that in addition to our high-parameter BD instruments, we are now able to offer spectral flow cytometry on Cytek machines. This will increase the maximum number of colors that we can analyze per sample to up to 40 in some cases. We’re also validating new analysis software packages like FCS Express to allow seamless electronic integration and flexible data transfer formats. We will continue to evaluate other vendors as needed by sponsors and ensure that we can answer the most complicated questions and use the most sensitive equipment needed to get there.
Our investment in our people and expertise is our most important strategic imperative and translates directly to more expertise, more capacity, and faster project delivery. The greater Philadelphia area is rich with talent within our industry. Our new facilities and investments make us much more attractive to this pool of talent and have drawn the highest-qualified flow cytometry minds to our doorstep from the university and life science ecosystem within driving distance of our facility. They bring a diversity of skills and experience into our new facility and help us deploy key talent into our workflows to align with sponsor expectations and expedite successful assay transfers.
We have more than doubled our headcount in the last year and we have plans to double that again in the near future. This additional capacity allows us to take on larger scale projects, but also to continue applying the level of customization and care required to address complicated research questions. We have established robust training and development programs to make sure that this influx of talented individuals gets up to speed rapidly and allows us to move forward with the unified commitment to quality and consistent project performance that our clients have come to expect.
The expanded facilities and headcount have allowed us to reduce our already industry-leading turnaround time down from months down to weeks for many projects. We are customizing the amount of validation that we need to do in-house, based on work that has already been performed so sponsors can pick and choose what they need us to do, based on how much experience they have with the assay, and the stage of clinical research set, and the robustness of assay required moving forward. We have also started a new initiative to pre-validate some of our most common panels. This will allow us to potentially test samples as soon as two weeks after PO signature, which is unheard of for a bioanalytical testing lab, especially in the flow cytometry space.
Our new facility is now running at full speed and ready for client visits. We have conducted several successful client audits already and feedback has been positive. Those who have visited are impressed by how modern the new facility is and how much space we have in our expansion plans. We are definitely looking to show people what we have now – and how we are looking to scale in the future.
Come visit during AAPS NBC & CPHI this year!
We would be happy to host anyone who would like to visit, so if you will be in the Philadelphia area soon (say for either the 2023 AAPS NBC or 2023 CPHI meetings taking place later this month), let us know a time you might be available while you are in town and we will schedule a tour for you!