SiO2 Materials Sciences Expands in Auburn

Vials go through the automated transfer station at SiO2 in Auburn.

SiO2 Materials Science plans to invest $163 million to expand its Auburn facility after securing a contract to supply the federal government with vials to support the Covid-19 vaccine effort.

The expansion is needed to increase the company’s production of the vials and syringes while maintaining the existing production needs of other customers, including pharmaceutical companies. As part of the expansion, an additional 220 jobs will be added at the company.

“It is exciting to know that SiO2 will be directly involved in providing a product essential to addressing the Covid-19 crisis, which will impact not only Alabamians but the entire country,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. “This is a testament to the ingenuity of this great company and its growing Alabama workforce.”

A privately-owned company, SiO2 used proprietary, advanced material science to develop its patented technology that applies a unique glass-like barrier onto any plastic surface. The company’s products are most used for biological drugs packaging and blood collection tubes for genomic testing and liquid biopsies. The combination of plastic and a microscopic layer of glass means vials and syringes won’t break, shatter or crack, thereby protecting the healthcare workers that are helping patients.

In June, SiO2 announced a $143 million contract with federal government agencies for a production scale-up of the company’s packaging platform for storing novel coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics.

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“There are problems with plastic and there are problems with glass, and we resolve all of them,” said SiO2 CEO Bobby Abrams.

As part of its growth project, the company will expand its existing facility and will invest in a new molding facility, both of which are in the Auburn Technology Park West. Construction is now underway on the molding facility, which will be approximately 70,000 square feet.

For more on the government contract received by SiO2, visit businessalabama.com/auburn-biotech-to-be-hub-for-u-s-covid-vaccine-delivery.

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