Serum Institute of India has bought a 50% stake in vials maker Schott Kaisha, the companies said on Tuesday, as the world's largest vaccine maker aims to secure pharmaceutical packaging to meet rising demand due to the pandemic.
"Securing this supply chain is of strategic importance," said Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of Serum Institute. "As a longtime customer, we use (Schott's) vials, ampoules and syringes to store our vaccines including (COVID-19 vaccine) Covishield."
Serum and Schott did not divulge any financial details on the deal in their joint statement. A representative for Schott India in an email said that the two partners have decided not to disclose the value of the deal. Serum did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Schott Kaisha is a joint venture between specialty glass makers Schott AG from Germany and India's Kaisha, producing the highest number of ampoules and vials in the country at around 2.5 billion units per year.
In May, a Schott Kaisha executive told Reuters that the company expected to sell 380 million vials for COVID-19 vaccines in 2021-22, up from 113 million a year earlier.
Coronavirus cases in India have sharply dropped from the devastating peak of the second wave in April and May. The country on Tuesday administered a near record number of vaccination doses in the last 24 hours.
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