Innovation: Peli BioThermal

Innovation: Peli BioThermal

Location: Maple Grove |  Employees: 300 |  Specialty: Cold chain solutions for pharmaceuticals

In the early days of Covid-19 vaccines, access to shots wasn’t the only concern; availability of extreme cold storage became nearly as critical. Peli BioThermal, which specializes in cold storage solutions for pharmaceuticals, stepped up to support global efforts to deliver Covid vaccines and therapeutics to the world at temperatures low enough to keep the drugs viable. The company expanded its product line to include a variety of frozen options that go as low as -80 degrees Celsius. 

Peli BioThermal’s revenue shot up 22 percent in the past year, due largely to its ability to fulfill vaccine storage needs. A recent move from Plymouth to Maple Grove has increased its manufacturing and warehouse space by about 60 percent. Leadership hopes the new facilities will be a hiring magnet as the company anticipates continued growth, says director of worldwide marketing Adam Tetz. 

Eighteen years ago, Peli BioThermal got its start by making reusable temperature-controlled packaging suitable for transporting blood. Parent company Pelican Products, based in Torrance, California, had been making cases that protected objects as varied as aircraft engines and amplifiers. With more advanced drugs coming on the market that required temperature control, Tetz says the company anticipated the demand for cold storage and decided to jump in around 2011. 

Historically, dry ice was the only option for extreme cold storage; Covid demanded innovation. Pre-pandemic, Peli BioThermal had already distinguished itself as the developer of the broadest range of patented temperature-controlled packaging using advanced materials that incorporate high-tech coolants and insulators. To supplement its frozen products line, the Maple Grove company rapidly developed cold chain packaging to cover temperatures as low as -80 degrees Celsius in more than 10 sizes, based on existing product lines. “Having a laboratory, engineering, and technology staff is important for what we do for all to meet requirements and prove to our customers that we can do what we say we will do,” Tetz notes. “We really take to heart that it is not just a package,” Tetz says. “It could be someone’s life.” 

CoolPall™ Flex is Peli BioThermal’s newest addition to its range of bulk shippers.
CoolPall™ Flex is Peli BioThermal’s newest addition to its range of bulk shippers.