Schott delivers glass vials for Covid-19 vaccine doses

Indian JV Schott Kaisha leads the supply of vials from India

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Glass vials as packaging for a potential Covid-19 vaccine. Photo - Getty Images (Schott via internet)

German glass manufacturing giant Schott is supporting the world’s fight against Covid-19 with vials capable of holding up to 2 billion vaccination doses. The pharma glass and packaging specialist has reached agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies, including key players in India. The global agreements became effective last month, and first vials are already being delivered to companies in Asia, North America, and Europe.

In India, Schott’s 50-50 joint venture, Schott Kaisha, supplies vials for Covid-19 vaccines to Serum Institute India and several other players. The joint venture operates four manufacturing facilities in the country in Jambusar and Umarsadi in Gujarat, Daman, and Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. The company also produces the pharmaceutical glass tubing for the packaging itself at its global sites, including one in Jambusar in Gujarat.

The specialty glass pioneer is ideally positioned to meet the challenging demand situation since it had started an investment program into its pharma business of US $ 1 billion in 2019 already. 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.

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.

“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”, shared Rishad Dadachanji, director, Schott Kaisha.

In addition, 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,” Dadachanji said.

Background information on Borosilicate glass

Schott is one of the world’s leading experts in the production of type-I Borosilicate glass, the gold standard for drug packaging for over a century. According to the company, the material is best suited for potential Covid-19 vaccines and existing medications, as it avoids the interactions between containers and the drug formulation, which can limit its effectiveness.

Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, Schott is a leading international technology group in specialty glass, glass-ceramics, and related high-tech materials. With over 130 years of experience, the company is an innovative partner to many industries, including the home appliance, pharma, electronics, optics, life sciences, automotive, and aviation industries. Schott has a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 34 countries, including India.

Schott Kaisha was established in 1990 as a premium manufacturer of pharmaceutical containers made of neutral glass in India under the name Kaisha Manufacturers. In 2008, it started cooperation with the international technology group Schott. The Indo-German joint venture is a leading supplier for the pharmaceutical industry. It offers a “one-stop shop” solution for the entire range of small volume tubular glass parenteral packaging, including ampoules and vials cartridges, and sterile pre-fillable glass syringes.

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