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Corning expands production of glass vials for possible COVID-19 vaccines

By Eric Reinhardt


Company received $204 million in federal funding for the effort  

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.), left, on June 26 toured the Corning Glass manufacturing facility in Big Flats as it prepares to expand manufacturing and production of glass vials in preparation for the COVID-19 vaccination. (PHOTO CREDIT: THE OFFICE OF U.S. SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND)

BIG FLATS — Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) is using a more than $200 million federal award to “substantially accelerate” manufacturing capacity for producing glass vials for upcoming COVID-19 vaccines and other medicines.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) awarded the money in June. 

The investment will lead to the “immediate scale up” of glass manufacturing assets in New York, the office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) said in a June 26 news release. 

Gillibrand that same day toured the Corning pharmaceutical production facility in the town of Big Flats as it prepares to expand manufacturing and production of glass vials in preparation for a COVID-19 vaccine.

As researchers work to quickly develop a vaccine for coronavirus, the federal government is preparing a massive expansion of manufacturing to build the necessary infrastructure to meet the anticipated demands of distribution. The $204 million in federal funding for Corning Inc. will “help cement Big Flats as a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub and keep New York on the frontlines of the nation’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gillibrand’s office contends. 

Corning will use the funding to bring production online more quickly to produce the glass vials for the vaccine.

“Corning is honored to be selected by [HHS] and the [U.S.] Department of Defense to provide Corning Valor Glass packaging for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments,” Ron Verkleeren, senior VP and general manager of Life Science Technologies, said in the release.   

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