Jefferies Financial Group announced today that it is the first private-sector company to support a newly established public-private consortium launched by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS).
HHS launched the program last week, announcing that it joined with ApiJect Systems America to create a high-volume “surge” drug packaging solution in the U.S. by using the blow-fill-seal (BFS) process used in sterile manufacturing facilities. HHS awarded ApiJect up to $456 million for the research and development of the BFS pre-filled syringes and its network of manufacturing facilities.
The new Rapid Aseptic Packaging of Injectable Drugs (RAPID) consortium aims to quickly fill and finish hundreds of millions of pre-filled syringes in response to widespread health emergencies, namely the coronavirus outbreak. In joining, Jefferies said in a news release that it plans to provide access to its client network, management team and global financial resources as it offers at least $10 million in an initial seed capital commitment.
“All of us at Jefferies are deeply concerned about, and personally impacted by, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jefferies CEO Rich Handler and president Brian Friedman said in a joint statement. “We are ready to put the firm’s capital to work in smart solutions, such as RAPID, that are critically needed to help America and the world win the battle against this pandemic. We have always supported new and innovative approaches and we believe RAPID is the right public-private partnership as we face this crisis in both the short term and long term.”
“Drug packaging and dispensing at population scale within our borders will be essential to safeguard the American public quickly and safely,” added ApiJect CEO Jay Walker. “Winning this battle against COVID-19 requires each and every company, citizen and all levels of government to step up. Having Jefferies as RAPID’s initial, shoulder-to-shoulder supporter brings a global network of clients’ immediate seed capital and a deep and experienced team to expand RAPID’s management capabilities. Its substantial financial support signals to others in the investment community the vital and central role that RAPID, as a public-private partnership led by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, will play in the war against the current pandemic, as well as future health emergencies and threats.”