Italy-based Stevanato Group, a leading producer of pharmaceutical glass containers and integrated provider of drug delivery systems, and CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) – the global partnership at the forefront of funding and coordinating the development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, signed an agreement for the supply of 100 million Type 1 Borosilicate glass vials to hold up to 2 billion doses of a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus, should product(s) be proven safe and effective. This supply is part of CEPI’s efforts to rapidly speed up the vaccine development timeline through making progress on manufacturing in parallel with the clinical development of COVID-19 candidate vaccines.
As international efforts to find a vaccine to combat COVID-19 intensify, the most crucial element in global vaccination programs, once a successful vaccine candidate moves into the manufacturing phase, is the worldwide supply of medical-grade glass vials to deliver the billions of doses of vaccines needed to fight the virus. Without medical glass vials, vaccines cannot be stored or delivered, and patients cannot be vaccinated.
Within this scenario and through this agreement, Stevanato Group – which produces annually 10 billion units among drug delivery systems, sterile and bulk glass containers, plastic diagnostic and medical components, including proprietary products – becomes a key supplier to CEPI’s COVID-19 vaccine programmes.
To date, CEPI has worked urgently and in coordination with its partners, investing up to US $829 million in nine COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Built on the principles of speed, scale and access, CEPI’s diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio includes a number of modern and innovative approaches, to increase the world’s chances of finding a safe, effective and globally accessible vaccine. The ultimate goal is to speed up the vaccine development timeframe to develop a successful vaccine in an accelerated 12-18-month timeframe.
The high-quality glass vials that CEPI have secured from Stevanato Group will be able to store 20 doses per vial (2 billion doses in total). Besides the provision of these 100 million vials, the Group will also grant a “fast track” access to its glass vial forming lines provided by its company Spami.
Franco Stevanato, Stevanato Group CEO, said: “Since the pandemic outbreak, we have activated a taskforce acting on two fronts. On one side, we have been implementing all the health and safety measures to protect our staff in all our global operations, and we have been supporting with donations the unprecedented effort of the hospital staff in a multitude of healthcare structures. On the other hand, we have proactively increased our global capacity to sustain the industry’s scale-up industrialization need. We are proud to support CEPI in this important project. We share the same deep sense of responsibility and commitment to achieving our industry goal of successfully addressing this public health challenge, ensuring no patient is left behind.”
Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEPI CEO, commented: “In addition to accelerating the development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, CEPI is working with partners around the world to begin the manufacture of millions of vaccine doses so that, should a candidate be proven to be safe and effective, it will be available to those in need without delay.
In order to achieve this aim, CEPI is supporting the procurement of critical vaccine packaging components, including glass vials. We are therefore delighted to be working with the Stevanato Group to secure high-quality pharma vials for two billion doses of vaccine, helping to maximise our efforts to advance the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and bring this pandemic to an end as soon as possible.”
About Stevanato Group:
Established in 1949, Stevanato Group is the world’s largest, privately-owned designer and producer of glass primary packaging for the pharmaceutical industry. From its outset, the Group has developed its own glass converting technology to ensure the highest standards of quality. The Group comprises a wide set of capabilities dedicated to serving the biopharmaceutical and diagnostic industries: from glass containers with its historical brand Ompi, to high-precision plastic diagnostic and medical components, to contract manufacturing for drug delivery devices, to vision inspection systems, assembly, and packaging equipment. The Group also provides analytical and testing services to study container closure integrity and integration into drug delivery devices, streamlining the drug development process. Thanks to its unique approach as a one-stop-shop, Stevanato Group can offer an unprecedented set of solutions to biopharma companies for a faster time to market and a reduced total cost of ownership.
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO in response to the emergence of COVID-19. CEPI has initiated 9 partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programmes will leverage rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships. The aim is to advance COVID-19 vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible.
Before the emergence of COVID-19 CEPI’s priority diseases included Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).