Since early in the pandemic, pharmaceutical companies around the world have been racing to develop therapeutics to combat COVID-19. These companies recognized an urgent need to rapidly scale up on raw materials and critical products required for mass production – a complex process with many steps.
Key to that process are 3M purification and filtration technologies, used globally to manufacture life-saving medications.
“Since March, we have experienced unprecedented demand,” said Robert Befidi, Jr., division vice president, 3M Health Care’s Separation and Purification Sciences Division. “Our production lines are operating around the clock.”
Two products in high demand are the 3M™ Emphaze™ AEX Hybrid Purifier and the 3M™ Zeta Plus™ Depth Filter products. The 3M™ Emphaze™ AEX Hybrid Purifier is a first-of-its-kind, award-winning product, developed at 3M’s Corporate Research Lab, that combines three unique 3M technologies — advanced polymer materials, fine fiber nonwovens, and porous membranes.
Prior to the pandemic, 3M authorized a $50 million capital investment to construct additional manufacturing lines at its plant in Columbia, Missouri. The added capacity came online in May 2020 and allowed 3M to fill a record-high level of orders. Also, 3M had extra volume coming from a $20 million investment at its plant in Wroclaw, Poland.
“We were ahead of the curve in 2020,” said Robert. “It’s important to plan for surge capacity for critical products and we have taken action to invest for even more production output in 2021.”
In addition, 3M has forged collaborations with governments, academia, distribution, and businesses across sectors to navigate the crisis. This integrated approach continues to serve the company as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have been sharply focused on delivering for frontline workers and the communities we serve worldwide,” said Mojdeh Poul, executive vice president, 3M Health Care. “Our innovative technologies, data and analytics capabilities, state-of-the-art manufacturing, and experience in pandemic response have enabled us to make critical contributions to fighting COVID-19.”