Plasma demand pushes Bio Life to break ground on new center - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Plasma demand pushes Bio Life to break ground on new center

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The worldwide demand for plasma is growing.  Plasma, a part of the blood, is becoming more widely used in a number of medical treatments.  That's why Bio Life Plasma Services is expanding its operations in the Cedar Valley.

Bio Life Plasma Services is breaking ground on a new 16,000 square foot facility in next to Best Buy in Waterloo.  It will be modeled similarly to the company's plasma donation center in Cedar Falls.

Bio Life's business at the Cedar Falls location has been wildly successful, leading to the need for a second center in the area.

"We started growing and grew all the way up to today's date, which is processing over 3700 donations every week," said Andrew Houts with Bio Life Plasma Services in Cedar Falls.

It's estimated a whopping 20 million liters of plasma are needed worldwide to treat various medical conditions. Since one donation is less than one liter--the need for donations is huge.

"The plasma that's donated is creating medications for people that have hemophilia and other immune compromising disorders.  What's really making this into a big business is honestly that it comes down to that it takes anywhere from six to 20 different donations to make one dosage of the medications.  And obviously with people that have this disorder--they may need it every day, and if they do not have it, they can't function on a daily basis," said Houts.

The perk of plasma--you can give it up to twice per week and get paid 20 or 30 dollars each time.  It's extra incentive for people like Brian Reicherts to donate.

"You know it goes for a good cause and puts a little extra cash in my pocket as well," Reicherts said.

When you take into account the cash donors like Reicherts get, and the money paid to the dozens of staff members who work here, it's estimated the plasma business has a $10 million local economic impact each year--helping the community and saving lives at the same time.

The new Bio Life Plasma Center in Waterloo is a $3.5 million facility, and is expected to open for business in about a year.   Initially, it will employ about 30 people, and will likely ramp up to 70 employees.

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