SC company to play role in vaccine distribution see more
A South Carolina pharmaceutical company will play a huge role in getting a COVID-19 vaccine to the American people.
Columbia-based Ritedose Corporation announced Thursday it’s been named a partner in Operation Warp Speed and will be responsible for filling and packaging millions of vaccines.
ApiJect, a medical technology company that received $138 million from the federal government to produce the first 100 million COVID-19 vaccines, patented the vial in which the vaccine will be distributed. They needed Ritedose to produce and manufacture those vials with their blow-fill-seal technology.
Ritedose CEO Jody Chastain says more COVID-19 vaccines will be packaged and filled in Columbia than any other place in the country.
“It’s tremendously rewarding,” Chastain explained.
He and his employees did the near impossible, getting two 150,000 square-foot warehouses ready to package and fill the vaccines in only a few months.
“Typically, that would take anywhere from 18-24 months, but within five months, we were able to outfit the facility to be able to handle the vaccine,” said Chastain.
Ritedose has upped its staff by more than 10% to help handle the demand.
“The potential for the workforce here in Columbia is huge, as well as putting Columbia on the map in the response to COVID,” Chastain noted.
The company’s nearly 400 employees also learned Thursday the role they will play in distributing the vaccine.
“It’s been hush-hush around the facility,” said Chastain. “People know that we’ve been doing work around the facility to be able to handle a new product, but they were unaware of what the new product is. Making this announcement to the employees today was very exciting because they’ve been able to see a tremendous amount of pride that’s been able to go into the workforce to be able to handle the vaccine.”
As soon as a vaccine candidate receives FDA approval, Ritedose will work with the company to make sure the vaccine is compatible with their plastic packaging.
“We’re much more efficient,” said Chastain. “We can produce a higher volume in a shorter time period.”
Once the vaccine is rolled out, front line workers, like Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge doctor Jennifer Risinger, will be the first in line.
“I’m very encouraged that we’re looking at months instead of years,” said Risinger.
She says she and her colleagues are eager to get the vaccine.
“It does give us a sense of relief and confidence that we’ll be able to deliver the care that people here in the Midlands deserve,” she noted. “I think we should all be very proud that we have a local company who is this involved in bringing this to the national spotlight as soon as possible.”
Ritedose says it’s likely the first vaccines distributed in South Carolina will have been packaged and filled in Columbia.
Operation Warp Speed has a goal to produce and deliver 300 million safe and effective doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, with the first doses expected to be ready by January 2021.
Nephron, Ritedose to the rescue with respiratory drugs see more
Two South Carolina companies that make drugs used to treat respiratory illnesses and symptoms, like those experienced by people infected with the coronavirus, have upped their production amid increased demand.
Nephron Pharmaceuticals in West Columbia and Ritedose Corp. make generic versions of almost all the respiratory drugs used in the United States, including albuterol sulfate and ipratropium bromide, according to the CEOs of the two companies.
Business at Nephron spiked last week, CEO Lou Kennedy said, with orders up 48 percent. The CEO of Ritedose, Jody Chastain, said his company has received a slight increase in demand. Click to read full story, courtesy of The Post and Courier...
Ritedose Corp. has opened a new facility on MTC’s Enterprise Campus in Columbia, SC see more
The Ritedose Corp. has opened a 150,000-square-foot facility on the campus of Midlands Technical College. The facility is the anchor tenant on MTC’s Enterprise Campus, a 130-acre industrial park for and educational partnership with new or existing industries looking for development space and workforce training.
The new operations mark the first expansion for Ritedose, a blow-fill-seal manufacturer headquartered in Columbia.
S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin joined MTC president Ron Rhames and Ritedose president and CEO Jody Chastain at a ribbon cutting and tour on Thursday.
Officials inclluding MTC president Ron Rhames, S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and Ritedose CEO Jody Chastain cut the ribbon on Ritedose's new facility on MTC's Enterprise Campus on Thursday. (Photo/Provided)
“TRC chose to set up our facility at the MTC Enterprise Campus because it is close geographically and it strengthens our relationship with Midlands Technical College,” Chastain said in a news release. “Having the benefit of a technical college with a willingness to structure curriculum for our industry makes sense. We will be working with MTC in designing courses that will be applied toward training and hiring the skill set that will continue to facilitate TRC’s success.”
TRC specializes in the production of inhalation products, eye drops, eardrops and oral liquids, serving clients from clinical trials to full-scale commercialization.
“We welcome companies like TRC that desire a relationship with an academic institution and that will take full advantage of what this site has to offer,” said Chuck Whipple, MTC Enterprise Campus executive director. “The Ritedose Corporation will be able to recruit MTC students to train and work in one of the most modern manufacturing environments in the state. It’s a win for the students, for the college and for TRC.”
The MTC Enterprise Campus offers office and industrial space ranging from five to 40 acres. Companies will be able to train and hire MTC students who have developed technical skills tailored to their organizations.
“This new facility will provide internship opportunities for many MTC students,” Rhames said. “By bridging the divide between learning and working, the enterprise campus will continue to grow as more companies choose to co-locate adjacent to the college’s northeast campus, where workforce training needs are so close at hand.”