By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News
FLORENCE, S.C. – ImmunoTek Bio Centers is set to open its latest plasma donation center on Wednesday at 1933 2nd Loop Road in Florence.
Established in 2014, ImmunoTek Bio Centers is a biotech company that collects and procures human blood plasma to create life-saving medicines. The Florence location is one of around 15 ImmunoTek centers in the U.S. and the first center in the Pee Dee, with others in Columbia and Myrtle Beach.
The Florence facility took approximately eight months and more than $2 million to create, according to ImmunoTek president, CEO and co-founder Jerome Parnell III. Parnell said the company opened a center in the Grand Strand a couple of years ago and as it was scouting the area, Parnell saw opportunity in Florence.
“The demand for plasma is exponentially growing. Plasma centers are going to be popping up in smaller cities so to speak like Florence,” Parnell said. “I really like Florence as a town; we’re very happy to be there.”
ImmunoTek Bio Centers gives residents an opportunity to donate plasma, a golden-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after removing the red and white blood cells and platelets. Plasma makes up approximately 55 percent of the volume of blood.
Residents can qualify to donate their plasma at ImmunoTek by passing an FDA-required medical screening. The donor must also be at least 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and have valid identification, a Social Security card and proof of a permanent address. The whole process takes approximately two hours to complete.
Donors are also compensated for their time based on the number of times they have donated. First-time donors at ImmunoTek receive $50 for their first and second donations. Return donors will receive $20 for their first donation and $40 for their second. A person can donate plasma up to two times every seven days.
“It’s a very controlled process and one of the most highly regulated industries in the world next to nuclear power,” Parnell said. “It’s very safe and it impacts a global reach.”
“We’re happy to be doing business in South Carolina,” Parnell said. “There are sick patients in need of plasma globally and this is a way for local folks to participate in meeting that demand.”
For more information about ImmunoTek Bio Centers, visit immunotek.com or call the Florence center at 843-773-6305.