Columbia pharmaceutical firm to help rollout COVID-19 vaccine

November 20, 2020

source: News19 WLTX

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia-based The Ritedose Corporation (TRC) has been named a partner in the federal government's Operation Warp Speed project to fill and finish COVID-19 vaccines.

TRC will be a subcontractor partnered with Stamford, Connecticut-based ApiJect Systems Corp.

While ApiJect will use a new one-million-square-foot Gigafactory in North Carolina's Research Triangle to more quickly package high volumes of injectable medicines and vaccines -- beginning with COVID-19 -- supported by a joint DoD/HHS $138 million contract, ApiJect has repurposed and upgraded, as part of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed, a BFS manufacturing facility at TRC to have the capacity to aseptically fill and finish up to 45 million doses per month of vaccines and other injectable medicines.

Jody Chastain, CEO of TRC, commented: “ApiJect is a company that makes things happen. I know that from my experience working with them on their emergency program to manufacture single-dose prefilled injectors at our South Carolina facility. The teams from ApiJect and Ritedose did the near impossible by creating in just a few months the capacity to fill and finish up to 45 million prefilled syringes every month. ApiJect’s new facility builds off that experience. It is the right step to address our nation’s glass vial supply chain vulnerabilities and expand domestic high-volume, fill-finish capacity for vaccines and other medicines.”

Operation Warp Speed hopes to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021.

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Statement by Mr. Jody Chastain, Chief Executive Officer (source: The Ritedose Corporation)
“The Ritedose Corporation is honored and proud to have been selected as a subcontractor to ApiJect for the production of single-dose prefilled syringes intended for administering COVID-19 vaccines. This is a direct result of the commitment demonstrated each day by the talented and dedicated people who work here.

“Founded in 1995 in Columbia, South Carolina, Ritedose is an industry leader in aseptic manufacturing and liquid packaging, and utilizes proven Blow-Fill-Seal (BFS) equipment and processes to ensure efficient, consistent and safe dosage delivery. Our 25-year track record includes the delivery of more than 6 billion doses of drugs since 2012 without a single recall.

“In just a few months, the teams from ApiJect and Ritedose repurposed and upgraded equipment that provides the capacity to fill and finish up to 45 million prefilled syringes per month. Once underway, this work will involve a significant expansion of our Columbia operations and capabilities, which we will support with an increase in our South Carolina workforce.

“We look forward to partnering with ApiJect, the Federal government and relevant oversight and regulatory authorities in this vital effort to overcome COVID-19 and its impact on communities in South Carolina and across the United States.”