Corning and SGD Pharma will build a new glass tubing facility in Telangana to expand pharmaceutical manufacturing in India. Credit: SGD Pharma.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the new pharmaceutical glass tubing facility in Telangana, India, took place in June 2023. Credit: SGD Pharma.
The project is expected to be developed with an investment of approximately Rs50bn ($60.53m). Credit: SGD Pharma.

A new pharmaceutical glass tubing facility will be built in Telangana, India, by a joint venture of Corning, a US-based technology company and SGD Pharma, a France-based pharmaceutical glassmaker, to expand pharmaceutical manufacturing in India.

The facility will combine Corning’s proprietary glass-coating Velocity® Vial technology platform with SGD Pharma’s vial-converting expertise to improve the quality of vial and filling-line productivity, along with the delivery speed of injectable treatments worldwide.

The facility will help the companies to support drug manufacturers in addressing progressively complex capacity and quality challenges while fulfilling the worldwide need for essential medicines.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the facility took place in June 2023 with an estimated investment of approximately Rs5bn ($60.3m).

The facility can potentially create 150 jobs in the Mahabubnagar district of Telangana. The Velocity® Vials manufacturing is scheduled to commence at SGD Pharma’s facility in Vemula, India, in 2024. The production of pharmaceutical tubing is expected to begin in 2025.

Corning’s Velocity® Vials details

The Velocity® Vials are made of Type I borosilicate glass, adhering to ISO standard dimensions. The adherence streamlines the regulatory process for converting marketed drugs. Notably, the vials can seamlessly integrate into existing operations without requiring substantial modifications or necessitating reporting to regulatory authorities.

Conventional glass vials generally have a higher coefficient of friction, which can cause challenges during pharmaceutical filling processes. It can reduce vial flow on pharmaceutical filling lines and lead to interventions, vial jams, tip-overs and glass breakage, creating disruptions and increasing drug filling manufacturing costs.

Corning’s Velocity® Vials come with an external low-friction coating that improves the quality and speed of delivery of lifesaving treatments.

The coating significantly reduces the coefficient of friction, enabling smoother flow and movement of the vials on filling lines. The coating reduces the occurrence of damage that can lead to cracks and fractures and cosmetic defects.

The Velocity® Vial has a more environmentally sustainable design than traditional pharmaceutical packaging. It improves the fill and finish efficiency by 20% to 50%.

It reduces glass particulates by up to 96%, retains 90% of its strength and reduces crack generation by three times.

The optimised manufacturing process enabled by Velocity® Vials helps accelerate the delivery of critical pharmaceutical products.

SGD Pharma’s existing Vemula facility details

SGD Pharma’s facility in Vemula is built on a 40,049m² area and is dedicated to Type I, moulded and tubular glass vials for pharmaceutical and biotech applications. It features a furnace with two lines and a 3,440m² ISO 8 clean room.

It produces more than three million vials and ampoules per day with sizes ranging from 1ml to 500ml. The company offers over 100 tubular products and over 80 moulded products.

The plant has over 900 employees to develop high-quality products meeting pharmaceutical requirements.

Marketing commentary on Corning

Corning specialises in glass science, ceramic science and optical physics.

Corning Valor® glass is another pharmaceutical technology of Corning, other than Velocity® Vials. Pharmaceutical glass tubing products of the company include Corning 33 Clear Borosilicate Glass Tubing, Corning 51-V Clear Borosilicate Glass Tubing, Corning 51-D Clear Borosilicate Glass Tubing, Corning 51-C Clear Borosilicate Glass Tubing, Corning 51-L Amber Borosilicate Glass Tubing and Corning 51-A Amber Borosilicate Glass Tubing.

In February 2023, Corning formed a joint venture with German pharmaceutical packaging company Gerresheimer to meet the growing demand for Velocity® Vials, addressing the requirements for a high-quality and cost-effective injectable drug-filling process.