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BLFS: Biologistex Offers Complementary Revenue Opportunity

By Brian Marckx, CFA


BLFS To Launch New Thermal Shipper Tracking & Monitoring Service 

Yesterday (4/22/14) BioLife Solutions (BLFS) announced that they will launch a new thermal shipping monitoring and tracking service called "biologistex".  The official launch will happen this week at the 20th ISCT Annual Meeting in Paris. 

The service encompasses the SAVSU thermal transport containers (in Q3 2013 BLFS became an exclusive distributor of SAVSU containers) with embedded monitoring sensors and a cloud-based web portal.  The SAVSU containers ("EVO") have configurations to maintain temperatures at 2-80 C or approximately -800 C.  The monitoring sensors are embedded in the containers and provide information on temperature, tilt, pressure and location - as well as other information to assure the integrity of the container and biological sample throughout the entire transportation process.  The monitoring information is transmitted to a cloud-based web portal where it is available for direct access to customers.  BLFS did not disclose specific details about revenue model but did note that the EVO containers will be available to rent on a monthly basis.

BLFS will be addressing a frozen packaging materials market that remains highly antiquated and mostly dominated by the use of dry ice in Styrofoam containers.  Relative flimsy and unreliable packaging can often result in temperature excursions inside the container and damage to the container during transport and handling.  These can be detrimental to the health of the specimen sample inside.  Sample integrity is often critical, particularly in the case of clinical trials where strict protocols means patient samples may not be able to be redone if lost or damaged - which can add more cost and time to potentially already expensive and lengthy trials.     

While non-optimized packaging remains common, the industry is shifting towards more reliable containers partly as a result of a major increase in the number of temperature-controlled biological products - which offers an opportunity for SAVSU and BLFS.  According to the Biopharma Cold Chain Sourcebook, published by Pharmaceutical Commerce, cold-chain biopharmaceutical distribution is expected to grow 55% from 2010 to 2016. 

In contrast to run-of-the-mill retail coolers, the EVO containers were developed to be highly durable (the company website has a compelling video that demonstrates just how durable), to minimize risk of temperature excursions and, with the available monitoring, customers can be assured of sample health as well as the location of the container in real-time.  Availability of the two container configurations provides another advantage as most biotech products (including vaccines and blood products) must be kept cold but not frozen (i.e. 2-80 ) while others must be kept frozen.     

  We view biologistex as a possible complementary revenue opportunity for BLFS and offering potential synergies with its core cryopreservation customer base - particularly as BLFS's cryopreservation media are being used in over 100 clinical trials.  And as each of these markets are closely related and significant in terms of both current size and expected future growth, the marriage of the two offerings under BLFS's umbrella provides the potential to steepen the rate of the company's already robust revenue growth and leverage their current operational infrastructure.


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