:Streamlined Manufacturing Processes Help Genomics Companies Reduce Overhead, Increase Efficiencies

Streamlined Manufacturing Processes Help Genomics Companies Reduce Overhead, Increase Efficiencies

In an industry wrought with inefficiencies, managing costs and reducing overhead seems unimaginable. For serial entrepreneurs like Brendan McKernan, finding a trusted manufacturer to partner with throughout his various life science ventures has allowed him to increase efficiencies and drive his long-term success.With three successful life science companies to his name, McKernan understands the challenges associated with clinical development. Forbes reports that companies hoping to bring a single drug to market can expect to spend some $350 million, before the drug is marketable or available to the physician. Working with AmericanBio, McKernan has reduced material overhead and increased inventory turnover allowing him to focus capital and resources on research, development and commercialization efforts.


In each of his three ventures, McKernan’s dynamic vision required an intense focus on improving the operations of each company. During his time with Agencourt Biosciences (acquired by Beckman Coulter Genomics) McKernan was approached by the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, one of the leaders of the international Human Genome Project.The Whitehead Institute expressed interest in having Agencourt sequence the genome of a Tetraodon, a small brackish water tropical fish that is endowed with the smallest known vertebrate genome. McKernan knew he needed to find a trusted manufacturing partner that could provide the raw materials needed to help meet the Institute’s lofty goals.


As a manufacturer and leading supplier of high quality biochemicals and reagent products for life sciences research and manufacturing applications, AmericanBio has provided high quality biochemicals and reagents to research institutions, key raw materials to the Human Genome Project, and highly customized biochemicals and reagents to emerging biopharmaceutical and molecular diagnostic companies.

With over thirty years of experience serving the life science industry, AmericanBio understood the needs and requirements of Agencourt Biosciences. McKernan relied on the company’s understanding of process and quality, saving McKernan and his businesses both time and money.


AmericanBio was able to help Agencourt Biosciences reduce lead times and costs, providing a first rate product quickly and economically.

“AmericanBio is very customer centric and does whatever it takes to get the job done,” said McKernan. “They are reliable and available when we need them—whether it is ten o’clock at night, on the weekends or during a holiday—they find a way to meet our needs. They are on time, cost effective, offer state-of-the-art facilities and world class service.”

Since working together, AmericanBio helped Agencourt dramatically reduce material overhead. Before, material overhead was at 13 percent. After AmericanBio implemented value-added services, consignment inventory and delivery of inventory to point of use, Agencourt’s overhead dropped to five percent. AmericanBio also enabled McKernan to turn inventory nearly 40 times per year. With this, they helped Agencourt achieve cross-docking, allowing the company to eliminate the need for inventory storage space or tremendous working capital to handle inventory.

Looking Ahead

McKernan’s initial positive experience continued through his roles at Agencourt and onto his latest venture with Courtagen Life Sciences (formerly Avantra Biosciences). As an innovator in protein diagnostics, Courtagen is pioneering next-generation technology for protein bio- marker analysis, which McKernan is helping to commercialize with assistance from AmericanBio.

To do so, McKernan has invited AmericanBio in at the design phase so that reagents and chemicals arriving at AmericanBio’s state-of- the-art facilities in Natick, Mass. can be rescaled and manufactured. Engaging AmericanBio at the design phase ensures that products are ready to rescale in a manufacturing setting without the need to rework the materials.

“AmericanBio has been an exceptional partner, and I have utilized them for all three of my ventures,” said McKernan. “The company has become our ideal model when we look for new suppliers.”

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