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SiO2 Expands Two Auburn, Alabama, Facilities to Produce COVID19 Vaccine Vials

07/02/2020
SiO2 Materials Science plans to invest $163 million in an expansion at its two facilities in Auburn, Alabama.

The expansion, which is expected to create 220 jobs, will allow SiO2 to increase its production capacity to meet the U.S. government’s critical need for vials and syringes while maintaining the existing production needs of other customers, including pharmaceutical companies.

As part of its growth project, SiO2 will expand its existing facility and will invest in a new molding facility, both located in the Auburn Technology Park West. Construction is underway to expand the facility on Innovation Drive. The completed approximately 70,000-square-foot facility will increase the production capacity of SiO2’s injection molding operation.

In June, SiO2 announced an $143 million contract with federal government agencies for a production scale-up of the company’s state-of-the-art packaging platform for storing novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines and therapeutics.

Over the last 10 years, SiO2 has developed its patented vial platform, which combines a plastic container with a microscopic, pure glass coating on the inside that is ideal for biological drugs and vaccines. The product, developed in Auburn with help from experts from four major U.S. research institutions, combines the benefits of both glass and plastic without drawbacks.

“There are problems with plastic, and there are problems with glass, and we resolve all of them,” SiO2 CEO Bobby Abrams said. “It is exciting to know that SiO2 will be directly involved in providing a product essential to addressing the COVID-19 crisis, which will impact not only Alabamians but the entire country,” Governor Ivey said.“This is a testament to the ingenuity of this great company and its growing Alabama workforce.”

Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said SiO2’s expansion project in Auburn will help ensure that the nation’s health authorities have an ample supply of vials and syringes to administer a vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as it is developed.

“Having a steady supply of SiO2’s innovative vials will represent a key strategic advantage for federal agencies wanting to act rapidly once a vaccine is available to counter the coronavirus,” he added.

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