DWK Life Sciences has announced a supply chain agreement with the UK’s Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) that will see the company provide primary packaging – in the form of borosilicate pharmaceuticalglass vials – to the organisation.
VMIC, a not-for-profit organisation, has been established to provide the UK’s first strategic vaccine development and advanced manufacturing capability and has taken a leading role in advising Government teams on vaccines manufacturing in response to COVID-19. With a 7,400square metrefacility due to open in 2021 VMIC will work with partners ranging from SMEs to multinationals as well as academic and research partners, to manufacture vaccines for a wide range of diseases and provide national emergency response in pandemic situations.
DWK will begin manufacturing vials that will be used by VMIC and its partners to ensure finished vaccines can be quickly transported to front line health services when they are available.
To prepare for the potential of further orders in this area, DWK Life Sciences is looking to make additional investment at its manufacturing plant, which is located in Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom. The site is the only remaining UK based production facility capable of producing glass vials for the pharmaceutical industry. While the company still has capacity available owing to previous and ongoing investment, it is actively exploring funding options that will enable a further increase in production capability.
Gareth Rowlands, CEO at DWK Life Sciences Limited, said: “This is a tremendous development for our business. We will be working hard to ensure the benefits of vaccine breakthroughs linked to VMIC’s work can be fully realised and delivered to front line health services as quickly as possible as a result of a robust primary packaging supply chain.
“This will involve an immediate acceleration in capacity at our Stoke-on-Trent site and plans for future expansion, ensuring we are well placed to meet any ramp up in the future.”
Chris Lucas, Chief Operating Officer at the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre, said: “It’s crucial that we have a robust supply chain in place for when we are fully operational in 2021 and this agreement with DWK Life Sciences shores up a proportion of the vials VMIC will need.
“I’m delighted that a UK company has been secured as part of this procurement process – growing the vaccines supply chain in the UK is vitally important if we are to have sovereign resilience in the long-term.”