Schott Pharma to build $371M syringe factory

Dive Brief:

  • Contract drugmaker Schott Pharma will build a prefillable polymer and glass syringe facility in North Carolina for use in GLP-1 therapies to treat diabetes or obesity, according to a March 18 press release.
  • The $371 million project in Wilson County will add 401 jobs to the region, with groundbreaking expected by the end of the year and projected operations starting in 2027.
  • Bringing production to the U.S. will “reduce lead times and slash transportation costs, as well as protect against future shortages of critical drugs and ensure pandemic preparedness,” the company said in the release.

Dive Insight:

The new site will be Schott Pharma’s first glass and polymer syringe facility in the U.S., as the company aims to expand the domestic supply chain for syringes used in injectable medicines, vaccines and other fields. It will also allow Schott Pharma to triple its supply of glass and polymer syringes to the U.S. market by 2030, according to the press release.

“As drug manufacturers develop and expand the use of mRNA, GLP-1, and other biologic therapies that require precise drug stability and storage properties, SCHOTT Pharma will be able to fill those orders quickly and efficiently here in the U.S.,” CEO Andreas Reisse said in the press release.

The company has also expanded its syringe manufacturing abroad in recent years. In 2022, the company opened a prefillable polymer syringe plant in Germany and a glass syringe production facility in Hungary.

Schott Pharma’s North Carolina project will be aided, in part, by a state job development investment grant, which offers the company a potential reimbursement of up to almost $5 million over 12 years.

“The impact of this facility will go far beyond local job creation in North Carolina and will relieve stress on the entire pharmaceutical industry supply chain,” Reisse said.

Schott Pharma currently operates six manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and has a vials manufacturing facility in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

The company picked the location because of its proximity to the Research Triangle area, which hosts numerous universities, healthcare companies and biopharma resources, President of Schott North America Christopher Cassidy said in the release.

North Carolina has become a pharmaceutical manufacturing hot spot as demand for GLP-1 products continues to grow. Eli Lilly is expanding production of its diabetes drugs at its Concord site as early as the end of 2024, while National Resilience is growing its fill-and-finish operations for gene therapy medicines in Research Triangle Park.

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