HHS In Partnership for Prefilled Syringes for COVID-19; Awards $456 M
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a public–private partnership for high-speed, high-volume emergency drug-packaging using prefilled syringes and has awarded Apiject Systems America, a Stamford, Connecticut-based provider of prefilled syringes, a contract valued up to $456 million.
Working with HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the new consortium for Rapid Aseptic Packaging of Injectable Drugs (RAPID) will enable the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to fill and finish, on a rapid basis, hundreds of millions of prefilled syringes to respond to widespread health emergencies, such as the novel coronavirus outbreak. Projects are under evaluation to expedite this process and could yield results within six months, according to the HHS.
The RAPID consortium is being launched to build a surge-capacity network of up to eight domestic facilities for the manufacture of prefilled syringes using blow–fill–seal (BFS). The HHS says that the RAPID consortium will combine BFS technology with an interlocking needle hub that the HHS says eliminates the inefficiencies and difficulties of drawing medicines from glass vials. The HHS says the technology will help the SNS to reduce its reliance on existing glass-vial manufacturing and filling technology with very limited surge capacity.
ASPR awarded Apiject Systems America, a Stamford, Connecticut-based provider of prefilled syringes and the corporation leading RAPID, with an award valued up to $456 million for research and development of BFS prefilled syringes, rapid prototyping, and stability testing of select medical countermeasures from the SNS in these devices.
The HHS says that Apiject Systems America will recruit the private and philanthropic investment necessary to create year-round domestic manufacturing facilities of aseptic BFS prefilled syringes for population-scale surge response capacity during health emergencies.
To that end, Jeffries Financial Group, a New York-based investment bank and financial services firm, has joined the RAPID consortium. Jefferies’ participation in the consortium provides seed capital and a global team to assist RAPID’s efforts to access the private–sector capital markets. Jefferies says it will support the initiative by providing access to the firm’s client network, management team, financial resources and an immediate initial seed capital commitment of at least $10 million to jumpstart the RAPID network.