Marken Overcomes Multiple Obstacles To Successfully Deliver Critical Stem Cell Samples Across The Globe

Stem cell samples require extremely tight 24-hour turnaround times in order to be modified and processed for critical cell therapy drug development. In our latest Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) case study, discover how Marken successfully transported critical stem cell samples from an apheresis treatment center in Japan to a USA manufacturing plant, within 24 hours.

Unforeseen challenges compounded the essential need for precise timing to deliver test samples within 24 hours.

To deliver multi-leg shipments of crucial stem cell samples on-time and within specifications, Marken must collect samples from Japanese apheresis treatment centers (ATC) and transport to USA manufacturing plant within 24 hours.


  • These samples required extremely tight 24-hour turnaround times in order to be modified and processed for critical cell therapy drug development
  • The ongoing natural disaster in Japan and freight disruptions caused transport delays
  • The collection was setback two hours, as the train carrying the samples had a severe accident

Marken navigated logistical hurdles and regulatory challenges to ensure samples were picked up from the ATC and quickly transferred to Haneda International Airport (HND) to secure an evening flight to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the USA.

To mitigate the evolving environment and unpredictable supply chain hurdles, the Marken team worked closely with the client to execute route risk assessment and alternative contingency plans. Marken experts expedited the pickup of the samples and cleared Customs to board the aircraft on-time.

The time-sensitive shipments arrived at LAX in the USA and were received by the client with a 23-hour TAT delivery performance. The samples were successfully distributed, allowing the continued development of an innovative cell therapy drug product.

Marken is a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS and is a critical part of UPS Healthcare. With Polar Speed and Marken included, the UPS Healthcare division staffs 128 locations with 5,500 employees worldwide. Marken offers a state-of-the-art GMP-compliant depot network and logistic hubs for clinical drug product storage and distribution in 59 locations worldwide, while maintaining the leading position for Direct-to-Patient and Home Healthcare services, biological sample shipments and biological kit production. Marken’s dedicated 2,000+ staff members manage 154,000 drug product and biological sample shipments every month at all temperature ranges in more than 220 countries and territories and have orchestrated 14,000+ home healthcare visits. Additional services such as cell and gene supply chain services, ancillary material sourcing, storage and distribution, shipment lane verification and qualifications, as well as GDP, regulatory and compliance consultancy add to Marken’s unique position in the pharma and logistics industry.

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