Flanked by partners, business leaders and public officials, including Governor Henry McMaster and members of Lexington County Council, Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CEO Lou Kennedy today announced a major milestone for Nephron Nitrile, a plant that will produce American-made, medical-grade first-in-class nitrile gloves.
Thanks to the hard work of indispensable logistics experts from UPS and Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), Kennedy, a Made-in-America champion, led a celebration for the arrival of the first equipment – including manufacturing lines – that will allow Nephron Nitrile to begin production of gloves within weeks.
The equipment began arriving by flight, landing at CAE, early Monday morning.
“We are excited for the arrival of this critical equipment,” said Kennedy. “But, more than that, we are grateful for the partnerships – from South Korea to South Carolina – that have allowed us to make efficient progress over the last year. Now, it is time to start making invaluable gloves right here in Lexington County.
“Nephron Nitrile is a project I have been passionate about because of the positive difference it can make around the state and country,” Kennedy added. “The supply chain disruptions, due to American dependence on foreign sources of PPE, that impacted so many confronting the pandemic underscored the need for companies like ours to step up. We are proud to be able to do it.”
Nephron Nitrile – headquartered in more than 400,000 square feet of space – is nearing the completion of construction. It represents an investment of more than $100 million in the Midlands. The plant will generate at least 250 jobs for the area.
Kennedy, and the entire Nephron team, have made reducing the American dependence on foreign sources of critical health care-related items, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and lifesaving medications, a top priority. Kennedy joined the governor when he announced an executive order to safeguard South Carolina from supply chain disruptions, such as those caused by countries like China, experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic by working to manufacture even more essential, life-saving products in South Carolina.
A West Columbia, S.C.-based company, Nephron develops and produces safe, affordable generic inhalation solutions and suspension products. The company also operates an industry-leading 503B Outsourcing Facility division which produces pre-filled sterile syringes, luer-lock vials, IV bottles and IV bags for hospitals across America, in an effort to alleviate drug shortage needs. Nephron launched a CLIA-certified diagnostics lab last year where it tests people for COVID-19 and administers vaccinations.