Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for many economic sectors, it opened up opportunities in other economic areas. For example, MilliporeSigma, a company that traditionally produces filtration devices to supply the pharmaceutical industry, will hire an additional 160 individuals in the small town of Jaffrey, New Hampshire. The manufacturer is booming, trying to keep up with the demand for its products which are required in the production of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. For example, this small town of less than 3,000 inhabitants supports 45 customer projects to develop and manufacture COVID-19 vaccines and related products.
Oxford Vaccine Collaboration & More
As it turns out, Jaffrey, NH, thanks to MilliporeSigma, becomes a relevant hub in the development of the Oxford vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19)—now part of AstraZeneca and named AZD1222—as the company inked a partnership with University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute back in 2017, which created the foundation for high volume vaccine production.
George Pelletier, writing for the Cabinet Press, reports that the local collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, initially for the development of neglected tropical diseases, has pivoted based on COVID-19 “to advance process improvements for manufacturing of two COVID-19 vaccine candidates in parallel.” These two prospective products include one novel candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2 as well as a repurposed SARS vaccine candidate known as RBD219-NA. For more on that Baylor College of Medicine candidate, see the link.
Jaffrey NH—A Critical Nexus
Michael Galleno leads the “separations and instruments technology cluster” for the company and reports they are deemed “essential” and hence never shut down: he commented for the Cabinet Press: “Many of the products we produce at the Jaffrey location are absolutely critical to the pharmaceutical and biotherapeutic supply chain.”
Who is MilliporeSigma?
MilliporeSigma belongs to (is a subsidiary) of probably the oldest pharmaceutical company on the planet. Acquired by Merck KGaA (founded in 1668), also known as “Merck Germany,” as there is also Merck Inc. from the United States. MilliporeSigma was originally the Millipore Corporation, founded in 1954. Since the early 1990s, it has been known for its micrometer pore-size filters and tests. By 2015, Merck Germany acquired Sigma-Aldrich and merged it with Merck Millipore. Hence in the United States and Canada, MilliporeSigma was born.
The company positions that they offer scientists and engineers with “best-in-class lab materials, technologies, and services. The combined EMD Millipore and Sigma-Aldrich now possess a staggeringly large portfolio of 300,000 products.