Bio Products Laboratory Limited (“BPL”)
COVID-19 and Update on Actions Taken to Ensure Patient Needs Will Continue to be Met
Following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration that the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak is a pandemic, BPL is providing an update on actions taken to date to ensure that health care practitioners and patient needs around the world will continue to be met by the regular supply of our life-enhancing plasma-based products.
We have implemented a number of measures centred on three priorities and consistent with our patient-focused values:
- Safeguard the health and wellbeing of our staff, who in turn can continue to serve our patients;
- Maintain our capability as a provider of high-quality plasma-based products; and
- Stay fully compliant with all our regulatory duties and obligations.
Looking After Staff and Site Safety:
BPL has been diligently monitoring the situation in the US, UK and rest of the world and has been putting measures in place to protect the safety of our employees.
We have instituted a number of measures as proactive safety precautions, including increasing awareness of strict hygiene practices for all staff members to follow; developed “remote working” plans, processes and tools ready for all its staff members that do not have a role in the collection of plasma or the manufacturing and release of finished product; suspended all non-essential business travel, both domestic and international; implementing a “remote” customer engagement policy; and implementing additional screening steps and education of donors at its US plasma centres.
Ensuring Product Supply and Safety:
Patient and product safety continue to be our utmost concern, and our focus, as ever, remains on providing a continuous supply of reliable, high quality plasma-derived products, supporting our patients every day.
The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) has confirmed in an online statement that the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak is not a concern for the safety of plasma protein therapies, such as those which BPL manufactures. This is due to the large size of the virus and the virus inactivation and removal procedures conducted in manufacturing processes, which ensure that the virus is not transmitted by plasma-derived products, should it be present.
BPL operates under a rigorous product quality framework in line with internationally accepted standards defined by UK, US and European government agencies and regulators that ensure the complete sterility of our products and appropriate production environment at all times.
BPL will continue to monitor this dynamic and ever changing situation by observing all regulatory and Government advice and make any necessary adjustments to the robust plans that have already been implemented so that BPL may continue to ensure the safe & timely supply of our products to customers and patients. BPL is further reassured by US Government recognition of the critical importance of plasma.
BPL will continue to assess all procedures and take proactive steps to ensure that risks are managed effectively, including the implementation of additional contingency plans in the event of a further escalation of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
BPL will continue to provide updates on the situation as needed.
If you have additional questions, please direct them to BPLanswers.Coronavirus@bpl.co.uk.
For further information, please see the following statement referenced above from the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA): https://www.pptaglobal.org/media-and-information/ppta-statements/1055-2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-and-plasma-protein-therapies.
About BPL Group
BPL's goal is to collect plasma from our donor communities and process it safely and effectively to manufacture high-quality products that meet the needs of clinicians, patients and stakeholders. We invest in the latest research, technology and manufacturing methods, and continuously adapt to ensure that we continue to serve all our stakeholders effectively.
BPL consists of two operating divisions - BPL Plasma and BPL Therapeutics. BPL Plasma, headquartered in Austin, Texas and operating in the USA, collects plasma from donors in around 40 centres across the US. BPL Plasma employs over 2000 staff, to support the needs of donors and to ensure high-quality plasma collection in all their centres. Plasma collection is regulated by both FDA and MHRA, and BPL Plasma follow industry guidelines. BPL Plasma operates clean and safe plasma facilities, staffed with trained personnel, dedicated to supporting donors through the process that leads to the donation of plasma. Plasma is shipped to the headquarters of BPL Therapeutics in Elstree, United Kingdom. The plasma is fractionated at a site with over 1000 employees involved in operations and commercial activity, finance and customer services. Fractionation is the process which separates plasma into proteins, which are then purified into therapeutic products that are used to treat patients. Ultimately, the final products are commercially available in the UK, USA and many other countries around the world.