SCHOTT’s Indian arm lines up vials for Covid-19 vaccine

With vaccines being developed in the fight against Covid-19, German glass-manufacturing major SCHOTT AG said, it was in the process of supplying vials to hold up to two billion vaccination doses. The pharma glass and packaging specialist has reached agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies, including players in India.

The global agreements became effective last month and the vials are already being delivered to companies in Asia, North America and Europe, the company said.

In India, SCHOTT’s 50-50 joint venture, SCHOTT KAISHA, is supplying vials for Covid-19 vaccines to Serum Institute (India) and several other players. The joint venture operates four manufacturing facilities in the country located in Jambusar and Umarsadi in Gujarat, Daman, and Baddi in Himachal Pradesh.

The specialty glass company said it was in a position to meet the challenging demand situation since it had started an investment programme of $1 billion into its pharma business in 2019. “In India, this includes a three-digit million-euro number for new Borosilicate glass melting tanks, and for its packaging operations an entirely new production site as well as new modules and lines.”

Quick to scale up

All of SCHOTT’s 20 production sites for pharma glass and packaging are validated by regulatory bodies and pharma companies. This means that additional capacities can be used immediately without further regulatory efforts. “Even before the expansions, SCHOTT already produced more than 11 billion pharma containers globally for life-saving drugs per annum, of which a nine-digit figure is manufactured locally in India,” the company said.

“SCHOTT KAISHA has been known to scale up extremely fast in order to meet customer demands over the past decade, which is also evident from its two new facilities in Umarsadi and Baddi. Thanks to our strong supply chain and support from SCHOTT’s global sites, we are in a very strong position to meet our customer’s current and anticipated requirements. We are confident that we can quickly expand our production capabilities further, in case demand arises,” said Rishad Dadachanji, Director, SCHOTT KAISHA.

More importantly, all major pharma companies and many other players in the market have been processing the company’s vials on their fill and finish lines for many years. “Hence, no time-consuming adaptations of fill and finish equipment will slow down vaccine distribution. As time is a luxury the industry doesn’t have at the moment, it is common sense to rely on tried-and-true packaging solutions,” he added.

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