SCHOTT Secures Research Funding to Improve Glass Packaging for Vaccines and Drugs

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New biopharmaceutical packaging technologies could help speed treatments during bioterror attacks and pandemics.

SCHOTT received $800,000 in Federal funding to develop advanced pharmaceutical packaging solutions that will speed treatments during bioterror attacks and pandemics.

This appropriation will enable us to develop new pharmaceutical packaging assessment tools and solutions

The U.S. Department of Defense, along with Congressman Tim Holden (D - PA), today announced that SCHOTT North America has been awarded an appropriation of $800,000 in federal funding, which Congressman Holden inserted into the Defense Appropriations Bill. The funding will allow SCHOTT to conduct research into the interaction between biotherapeutic drugs and glass packaging. Currently, such interactions can lead to drug loss due to adsorption, aggregation and precipitation, which diminishes the effectiveness of these drugs.

One goal of the research is to improve the government's ability to stockpile ready-to-inject vaccines and treatments, and thus speed its response to bioterror attacks and pandemics. The research will also help bring SCHOTT advanced packaging technologies to the commercial sector.

SCHOTT will use the appropriation to create tools that better assess the interaction between biotherapeutics and glass, and to develop new glass packaging technologies that extend the shelf life of these kinds of drugs.

The Need to Speed Treatment

Many of the vaccines and treatments that are being stockpiled by the Department of Defense are freeze-dried (lyophilized) in order to keep them from reacting with their packaging, thereby increasing their shelf life. This process is costly; moreover, though lyophilization is sometimes the only way to stabilize certain biotherapeutics, the reconstitution process can slow down mass dissemination of the drug. For example, if reconstitution of a lyophilized drug took as little as 2 to 5 minutes per dosage, in a mass outbreak thousands of hours could be spent preparing it for delivery, increasing the number of lives lost in such an event.

Biotherapeutics formulated with liquid in a pre-filled syringe could dramatically reduce drug response times, improving mortality rates. However, many of these drugs have stability problems when stored as liquids, and can interact with their glass packaging's interior surfaces, reducing their effectiveness.

In 2006 the NIH invested more than 200 million dollars to develop advanced biotherapeutics, and plans to spend hundreds of millions more over the coming years. Given this major investment, the development of ready-to-inject pharmaceutical packaging containers that can maintain advanced biotherapeutic drugs' long-term efficacy is vital.

"This appropriation will enable us to develop new pharmaceutical packaging assessment tools and solutions," said Sam Conzone, Ph.D., Director of SCHOTT North America's Regional Research and Development. "With these solutions, we will be able to aid in the preparedness of the U.S. government for quickly disseminating vaccines and treatments in the event of a bioterrorism attack."

"In the case of a bioterrorism attack or pandemic, it is essential that the government respond as quickly and efficiently as possible if we hope to save lives," said Congressman Holden. "I am proud that, with this appropriation, the state of Pennsylvania continues to play a leading role in biotechnology research that strengthens our nation's security."

SCHOTT is at the forefront in developing tools that measure the interaction between pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical packaging. In addition, SCHOTT has years of experience creating and producing coatings and other packaging technologies that prevent these interactions from taking place.

High-resolution photos of SCHOTT's pharmaceutical packaging products can be downloaded from http://www.schott-pictures.net .

About SCHOTT
SCHOTT is a technology-driven, international group that sees its core purpose as the improvement of how people live and work through expert solutions in specialty materials, components and systems. Its main areas of focus are special glasses and glass-ceramics for architectural applications, the household appliance industry, pharmaceutical packaging, optics and opto-electronics, information technology, consumer electronics, lighting, automotive engineering and solar energy.

SCHOTT has a presence in close proximity to its customers through highly efficient production and sales companies in all of its major markets. It has more than 17,000 employees producing worldwide sales of approximately $2 billion. In North America, SCHOTT's holding companies SCHOTT Corporation and its subsidiary SCHOTT North America, Inc. employ approximately 2,500 people in 16 operations.

The company's technological and economic expertise is closely linked with its social and ecological responsibilities.

For more information, visit http://www.us.schott.com/english.

About SCHOTT's Pharmaceutical Packaging Business:
SCHOTT Pharmaceutical Packaging is one of the world's leading suppliers of parenteral packaging for the pharmaceutical industry. More than 500 production lines in 11 production sites worldwide produce more than 6 billion syringes, vials, ampoules, cartridges and special articles of tubing glass or polymer. Excellent raw materials, state-of-the-art manufacturing, the use of the latest technologies, continuous research and development enable developing innovative product solutions meeting the high demands of our customers. The back-up possibilities offered by the company's production sites situated all over the world provide flexibility, reliability and security to our partners. All production sites operate in a GMP environment and their products comply with the international standards USP, EP and JP.

Brian Lynch
PR Manager
SCHOTT North America, Inc.
P: (914) 831-2287
M: (914) 356-7785
E: brian.lynch @ us.schott.com

Trish Reily
Press Secretary
Rep. Holden's office
(202) 225-5546

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Brian Lynch

Trish Reily

202-225-5546
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