INDIANAPOLIS — A local pharmaceutical company has joined the race to help produce the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Exelead is contracted to produce batches of the shot at least until the end of 2021.
While the company could not give an exact number because of their agreement with Pfizer, they were able to share that they started making the first batch towards the end of May. According to Exelead, about a million doses have already been made.
The agreement has been in the works since 2020 to help boost the vaccine production. To make the most of their manufacturing efforts, Exelead is hiring more people to help — which is bringing more jobs to the area.
“It really just brings light to our local pharmaceutical community, but really just here at Exelead we feel a great sense of accomplishment, I would say, in helping not just the U.S. but potentially the rest of the world,” said Drew Andis, a business development leader at Exelead.
While the agreement only goes until at least the end of the year, the plan is to reevaluate things with Pfizer afterwards and potentially continuing longer.
“One company is not going to get it done. One country is not going to get us to the end of this pandemic. So really, I think the entire pharmaceutical industry has stretched and become a community bringing in companies they may not have previously interacted with to ensure that we are giving doses to as many people as possible, to as many people who are willing to take them.”
Once they make their batches in Exelead’s plant here in Indianapolis, the batches are then shipped off to another facility to be packaged before they are administered.