ICYMI - News 19 WLTX: "We're going to be ready"February 03, 2021
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Nephron Pharmaceuticals is hoping to help with vaccine distribution in South Carolina.
The company hopes to expand, and CEO Lou Kennedy said part of their expansion includes a new wing that would allow them to fill vaccines.
According to the company, they do not currently have a vaccine partner, but they are working with different makers to help with distribution.
If they are able to find a partner, Kennedy said this could make a huge difference for South Carolinians.
"What my hope and plan is, is to get this thing finished and as we see new mutations or variants start to emerge they might want to say well we don’t want to stop production of this, but we would like to do some different things or maybe there’s a new version," Kennedy said. "And, so I just want to be ready in the event someone needs extra filling capabilities. We’re going to be ready.”
The goal is to have construction of the new facility completed next month. Once the facility is completed and finds a partner – Nephron could produce and fill 8 million vials per month by September, according to Nephron.
But while construction is on going, Nephron said they are helping combat the pandemic in other ways.
When the pandemic began, Nephron began providing COVID-19 testing. Since then, they have made sanitizer, test kits, and drugs to help with symptoms related to the virus.
She said while they wait to partner with a vaccine company, they want to continue helping fight the pandemic.
"COVID-19 testing was early on a must for us, and now we’re happy to test student athletes, the people from the university, folks from local schools, the community, other businesses located near us, and even all over the state,” Kennedy said.