Ju­bi­lant Hol­lis­ter­Sti­er plots out ex­pan­sion at WA ster­ile in­jecta­bles plant amid work on Covid-19 vac­cines

Pramod Ya­dav

The dire need for man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ty and a pledge of a rapid ramp up of vac­cines and treat­ments to bat­tle Covid-19 have left com­pa­nies scram­bling to ex­pand in­ter­nal­ly, and CD­MOs are bring­ing home se­ri­ous rev­enue as a re­sult. That’s meant a bowl of cash to work with, and now a Wash­ing­ton CD­MO is splash­ing out a new ex­pan­sion.

Ju­bi­lant Hol­lis­ter­Sti­er is ex­pand­ing its ster­ile in­jectable man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ty at its Spokane, WA site to keep up with de­mand sur­round­ing the Covid-19 vac­cine push, the com­pa­ny said this week.

The $92 mil­lion in­vest­ment will help in­crease man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ty by 50% with the in­clu­sion of 2,300-square-foot lyophiliz­ers and 50,000 square feet of build­ing space. The up­grades will al­low for 400 vials a minute to be filled. The plant will be op­er­a­tional by 2024 if all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, the com­pa­ny says.

In a state­ment, CEO Pramod Ya­dav said:

We are pleased to an­nounce the planned ex­pan­sion of the ster­ile in­jectable man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ty at this crit­i­cal junc­ture. With two fa­cil­i­ties in North Amer­i­ca work­ing to man­u­fac­ture mul­ti­ple COVID-19 vac­cines and ther­a­pies, we re­main com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing ef­forts to erad­i­cate this glob­al pan­dem­ic and are pre­pared for a po­ten­tial fu­ture pan­dem­ic re­sponse. This ex­pan­sion will al­so help us meet high de­mand from our glob­al Spe­cial­ty Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal cus­tomers, with whom the com­pa­ny has es­tab­lished strong re­la­tion­ships.

Ju­bi­lant Hol­lis­ter­Sti­er is a sub­sidiary of Ju­bi­lant Phar­ma, which is a Sin­ga­pore-based com­pa­ny that man­u­fac­tures APIs, ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and oth­er drug ma­te­ri­als through its six fa­cil­i­ties in North Amer­i­ca. In March, the com­pa­ny an­nounced that it had signed on with No­vavax to pro­vide fill-fin­ish ser­vices to its vac­cine can­di­date.

Pre­vi­ous­ly, No­vavax had aimed for a May ap­proval of its vac­cine, and while the Mary­land com­pa­ny has re­peat­ed­ly de­layed its time­line for reg­u­la­to­ry ap­proval for the vac­cine, it could be good-to-go by Q3 of 2021. The com­pa­ny has re­port­ed­ly strug­gled to get raw ma­te­ri­als and equip­ment to man­u­fac­ture the jab.

The com­pa­ny al­so en­tered an agree­ment with Eli Lil­ly in ear­ly March for the man­u­fac­tur­ing of bam­lanivimab at its Spokane plant. Bam­lanivimab’s emer­gency use au­tho­riza­tion was re­voked by the FDA for the treat­ment of Covid-19. The US end­ed its pur­chase agree­ment and can­celed the re­main­ing 350,856 dos­es that were sched­uled to be de­liv­ered. Eli Lil­ly said that the move is set to cost about $440 mil­lion. The FDA cit­ed the ris­ing num­ber of vari­ants for the re­vok­ing of EUA sta­tus.

Ju­bi­lant’s oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty is lo­cat­ed in Que­bec, Cana­da.

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