Small Business Spotlight: Lampire Biological Laboratories, Inc.
Lampire Biological Laboratories, Inc., is a biotechnology company that has several locations across Pennsylvania. We spoke to Gregory F. Krug, CEO of Lampire, about his contributions to the life sciences industry and how recent funding through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) will help his business continue to grow.
How did Lampire get its start?
Lampire’s story began when I showed up at the wrong place for a summer job interview between my sophomore and junior year at Delaware Valley College (now University). I accepted the position and met the person who would help me get Lampire off the ground. Upon graduation in 1977, it was just Craig Tarler, Delaware Valley University (DVU) students, and me [working at Lampire].
Today, Lampire is a leading international supplier of blood products, tissues and organs, reagents, and custom antibody production services. We provide the raw materials the biopharmaceutical and diagnostic industry requires to carry out diagnostic test kits, drug therapies, and product development. Essentially, we’re making the components (biological reagents) that make things like pregnancy tests and nicotine tests work.
A large part of our operations includes providing donor animal biologics for an extensive array of products. We run several farms with more than 17 species of animals. From extracting drugs through animal milk to collecting hide for collagen, our services vary depending on the needs of our customers.
Today, we have more than 130 professionals, and we supply products all around the world. I could not be prouder of the diversity in our staff — we employ veterinarians, Ph.D.s, biochemists, and molecular biologists — and a strong part of our workforce comes from Pennsylvania-based technical school and community college students. Further, over 10 percent of Lampire’s workforce is composed of DVU graduates.
We operate six facilities across Pennsylvania, with three labs, two farms, and our corporate offices in Bucks County. Celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2017, Lampire’s growth journey is just beginning.
How have you grown in Pennsylvania?
Our support from local, state, and federal partners is part of the reason we have witnessed tremendous growth. In 2016, Lampire was awarded a $199,500, 15-year PIDA loan at 2.5 percent through the Bedford County Development Association.
This loan enabled us to construct an 8,704-square-foot sheep barn and 240-square-foot utility building. The added capacity gave us new facilities for quarantine and new land development that house 500 sheep, equipping us to provide sheep polyclonal antiserum for use in diabetes testing.
Thanks to our continued growth, we have been able to come alongside other biopharmaceutical startups in Pennsylvania. For example, we helped get Saladax, a precision diagnostic company, off the ground. We develop antibodies for key therapeutic agents, and Saladax develops the assays to test how different people respond to chemotherapy. These tests can tell if a patient is under or overdosed during treatment. In this example, we brought Saladax over from New Jersey and got them set up at the Ben Franklin TechVentures facility in the Lehigh Valley.
Tell us about the life sciences industry in Pennsylvania.
Lampire is well-connected to the life sciences community here in Pennsylvania. From prestigious medical institutions to world-class colleges and universities, there is top-ranked research and biomedical engineering happening here in Pennsylvania.
I serve on a number of manufacturing, education, and economic development boards, as I believe strongly in training our workforce for manufacturing in the life sciences industry. We also have a partnership with the Bedford County Technical Center to help train the future workforce in subject areas like biotechnology.
My mentors have helped me bring Lampire where it is today, and I hope to do the same for companies across Pennsylvania. Together, we will continue to raise the profile of life sciences in our state, attracting and retaining talented workforce and startup companies for years to come.
The Small Business Spotlight is a monthly series posted on the second Saturday of the month which highlights businesses and their owners who are positively impacting their local community.
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