Jefferies leading push to raise up to $1B for U.S. drug packaging surge capacity

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Jefferies is leading an initiative to raise as much as $1 billion to support HHS’s newly launched public-private partnership to build U.S.-based manufacturing capacity to rapidly produce hundreds of millions of prefilled medical-grade syringes.

HHS launched Rapid Aseptic Packaging of Injectable Drugs (RAPID) last week to enable the Strategic National Stockpile to quickly fill and finish hundreds of millions of prefilled syringes to respond to emerging health threats such as COVID-19.

Jefferies, the first private-sector company to join the consortium, is immediately providing at least $10 million and will help the group access the private capital markets to raise additional funding to support the build-out of up to eight packaging facilities in the U.S.

HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has awarded Apiject Systems America up to $456 million to research and develop prefilled syringe technology for medical countermeasures such as vaccines. The public-benefit corporation is deploying blow-fill-seal (BFS) technology, as used in sterile products such as eye drops, to create single-use prefilled syringes.

Earlier this week, biopharma executives and leaders from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) called for a concerted effort to establish substantial manufacturing capacity for vaccines that could be available in health emergencies such as the COVID-19 epidemic (see “Biopharma Execs Highlight Regulatory Collaboration, Call for Increased Manufacturing, Data Sharing”).

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