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Schott secures research funding to improve vaccine and drug glass packaging

The US Department of Defense and Congressman Tim Holden have announced that Schott North America has been awarded USD 800,000 in federal funding. The funding, which Congressman Holden inserted into th…

The US Department of Defense and Congressman Tim Holden have announced that Schott North America has been awarded USD 800,000 in federal funding. The funding, which Congressman Holden inserted into the Defense Appropriations Bill, will allow Schott to conduct research into the interaction between biotherapeutic drugs and glass packaging. These interactions can, at present, lead to drug loss due to adsorption, aggregation and precipitation, which diminishes the effectiveness of these drugs. Schott received the funding to develop advanced pharmaceutical packaging solutions that will speed treatments during bioterror attacks and pandemics. One goal of the research is to improve the government“s ability to stockpile ready-to-inject vaccines and treatments, and thus speed its response to bioterror attacks and pandemics. The research will also help bring Schott advanced packaging technologies to the commercial sector. Schott will use the funds to create tools to improve assessment of the interaction between biotherapeutics and glass, as well as to develop new glass packaging technologies to extend the shelf life of these kinds of drugs. At present, most vaccines and treatments that are being stockpiled by the Department of Defense are freeze-dried (lyophilized) to increase their shelf life. However, this process is costly and the reconstitution process can slow down mass dissemination of the drug. Biotherapeutics formulated with liquid in a pre-filled syringe could dramatically reduce drug response times, improving mortality rates, but often have stability problems when stored as liquids, and can interact with their glass packaging“s interior surfaces, reducing their effectiveness. In 2006, the US NIH (National Institutes of Health) invested more than USD 200 million to develop advanced biotherapeutics, and plans to spend hundreds of millions more in the near future. Given this major investment, the development of ready-to-inject pharmaceutical packaging containers that maintain advanced biotherapeutic drugs“ long-term efficacy is vital. “This appropriation will enable us to develop new pharmaceutical packaging assessment tools and solutions,” said Sam Conzone, Ph.D., Director of Schott North America“s Regional Research and Development. “With these solutions, we will be able to aid in the preparedness of the US government for quickly disseminating vaccines and treatments in the event of a bioterrorism attack.” “In the case of a bioterrorism attack or pandemic, it is essential that the government respond as quickly and efficiently as possible if we hope to save lives,” said Congressman Holden. “I am proud that, with this appropriation, the state of Pennsylvania continues to play a leading role in biotechnology research that strengthens our nation“s security.” Schott Pharmaceutical Packaging is one of the world“s leading suppliers of parenteral packaging for the pharmaceutical industry, with more than 500 production lines in 11 production sites worldwide. All production sites operate in a GMP environment and their products comply with the international standards USP, EP and JP.

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