The companies expect manufacturing of velocity vials at SGD Pharma’s facility at Vemula in Mahabubnagar district, Telangana, to begin in 2024. Pharmaceutical tubing production is expected to begin in 2025.
The investment would be “significant” in the range of “tens of millions of dollars”, the companies said, but did not disclose any specific numbers, including proposed capacities, citing “confidentiality”.
The JV will combine SGD Pharma’s vial-converting expertise with Corning’s velocity vial platform. It intends to localise the supply chains and enable easier adoption of the technology by pharma customers.
Velocity vials are type-I borosilicate vials with low-friction coating that will improve fill-finish productivity by 50% and enhance product quality, lowering manufacturing costs and speeding the delivery of injectable therapies.
As Indian drug makers scale up production of lifesaving treatments and critical drugs like biopharmaceuticals and complex injectables, they are looking for packaging solutions that will help deal with tighter regulations, achieve manufacturing efficiencies, increase shelf life and stability.
SGD Pharma, which is predominantly a moulded glass packaging manufacturer, is trying to expand to tubular vials that are being fast adopted by pharmaceutical companies because of higher consistency in both appearance and fill capacity. The JV with Corning will help in that transition. SGD produces more than 8 million vials every day from five plants in France, Germany, India and China.
The new one will be Corning’s second manufacturing unit in India. Its current plant at Chakan in Maharashtra makes optical fibre.
Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India, among others, have been major customers of Corning’s velocity vials in India, which they have used for packaging Covid vaccines.