Indian JV leads Schott’s vials supply for Covid-19 vaccine

German glass manufacturing major Schott is manufacturing vials capable of holding up to 2 billion Covid-19 vaccination doses and its joint venture in India, Schott Kaisha, is leading the way in terms of production.

24 Aug 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

The German company claims that it has already delivered a set of vials for Covid-19 vaccine to companies in Asia, North America and Europe, and has reached agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies including key players in India. Currently, the pharma glass packaging specialist is supplying vials for Covid-19 vaccines to Serum Institute (India) among other players. 

Schott Kaisha operates four manufacturing facilities in the country located in Jambusar and Umarsadi in Gujarat, Daman, and Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. In addition to the vials, the company also produces pharmaceutical glass tubing for packaging at its global sites including the one in Jambusar.

Rishad Dadachanji, director at Schott Kaisha, said, “We are known to scale up extremely fast 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 the demand rises.” 

In 2019, the company had started an investment programme of USD 1 billion for its pharma packaging business. In India, this includes a three-digit million-euro number for new Borosilicate glass melting tanks and an entirely new production site for packaging, boosted with new modules and lines. Even before the expansion, the glass specialist produced more than 11 billion pharma containers globally of which a nine-digit figure was manufactured in India.

All of Schott’s 20 production sites for pharma glass and packaging are validated by regulatory bodies and pharma companies, claims the company. This infers that additional capacities can be used immediately without further regulatory efforts. 

“All major pharma companies and many other players in the market have been processing our 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,” added Dadachanji.