“Why” We Do What We Do
You fell. Cut your knee, hit your head. Ouch! Stick a Band-Aid on and you’ll be fine!” A familiar scenario, and for most of us, the bleeding will stop, and the scrape will heal. In a week, we’ll never even know it was there.
But not if you have severe hemophilia. That same fall could see you rushing to the nearest emergency room A&E — there’s no way a simple bandaid will stop your bleeding.
Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder that prevents the blood from clotting — a problem that can affect every aspect of your daily life. Without regular Factor VIII infusions (injections), it leads to chronic joint disease, gushing nosebleeds, the ever-present possibility of bleeding into organs like the liver and kidneys and the risk of brain hemorrhages.
Life with a genetic bleeding disorder
When you’ve never had a personal experience of a genetic condition like hemophilia, it’s hard to understand the grind of daily injections and the impacts if you forget to take them.
People like José D know what it’s like all too well. He’s one of 1,000,000+ men worldwide currently living with hemophilia.
“Not only is hemophilia always on my mind, it’s something that we live with. It gets tiring having to infuse, and having the mentality … getting emotionally ready for the infusion can be difficult.”
José’s four-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with the condition, too.
“I try to incorporate her in my infusions, to help her understand what it’s like to mix the medicine, to prepare yourself for an infusion,” explains José. “So that I can get her to understand that this will be part of her lifestyle in the near future.”
BioMarin steps in
BioMarin scientists have been working for years to develop a gene therapy treatment for Hemophilia A.
Approval for the treatment is pending in the States, but its recent EU Approval gives hope that a safer, efficient, more cost effective treatment option is on the doorstep.
It takes precise, delicate equipment and extraordinary workspaces to create genetic therapies. Ordinary pharmaceutical labs simply won’t work. That’s why when BioMarin decided to build a world-leading biotechnology facility they called in the experts, W. Bradley Electric..
With a constrained budget and even stricter deadlines, BioMarin set WBE its contractors a massive challenge – to transform their Novato, California warehouse into an 18,000 sq ft state-of-the-art processing and finishing facility in just 18 months.
They called it Project FAITH.
It was a perfect name because all the stakeholders — medical, scientific, financial, patients and their families put all their faith in the WBE contractors to deliver by the time the clinical trials were scheduled to start.
And WBE delivered!
Project FAITH produced “one of the fastest and most successful implementations of new biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity ever seen in the industry.” (ISPE)
Or, as the 2018 FOYA (Facility of the Year Awards) judges put it:
”Teamed with some of the industry’s best people, equipped with the right technology, and energized by the right motivation, an impossible project is made possible.”
What makes a biotechnology facility different?
WBE Senior Project Manager Joel Backman revealed some of the complexities of the project, which involved creating electrical infrastructure for:
Negative Air Pressure Clean Rooms — sealed, filtered, low pressure rooms to eliminate the escape of possible contaminants into the rest of the facility.
Bio reactors — which provide the right environment for enzymes and cells to grow and reproduce.
RO/DI systems — multi-stage water filters using reverse osmosis and deionization.
Not to mention computers, control systems, cameras, power points, wiring, conduit, mainframes, and a 1 Megawatt generator.
Nothing in such a life-altering facility can be done without electricity so WBE staff were involved in multiple areas on and off site.
“It’s so satisfying when we all come together to achieve a meaningful goal in order to change the world.” Carl Alberston Director of Capital Projects Biomarin
Manufacturing biopharmaceuticals is a delicate mission. And constructing the facilities to make these life-changing treatments is equally technical and complex. You need all parties working as a team to put the pieces together.
That’s why BioMarin wanted WBE on board. It helps to have an innovative electrical and telecommunication team that can solve all the issues — preferably without you even being aware the problem exists. A team committed to smoothing the path for all contractors on site. One that won’t take shortcuts on quality or safety.
In short, they wanted the WBE difference.
Joel Backman says that relationship building is the cornerstone of WBE’s business. It’s one of the things he loves most about working at WBE.
“Our attitude is that it’s not just about what I can do for you today. It’s how I can help you tomorrow, too. We’re here to make money with integrity. That’s what excites me about my job.”
WBE teams thrive on challenges like those in Project FAITH.
Helping to create a world-class facility is one thing. Knowing that we’ve given the scientists who work there an environment that lets them change thousands of lives is quite another.
In time, José won’t have to worry when his daughter falls on the pavement. That Band-Aid really will stop the bleeding.
These are the projects that mean the most. The ones that make a difference.