Jubilant HollisterStier plots out expansion at WA sterile injectables plant amid work on Covid-19 vaccines
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 Bamlanivimab’s emergency use authorization was revoked by the FDA for the treatment of Covid-19.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.