WASHINGTON – The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has approved a $590 million loan to ApiJect Systems, Corp. (ApiJect) to aid in the domestic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. DFC’s loan to ApiJect would facilitate the production of prefilled injectors that are capable of delivering almost all leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates with speed, scale, and efficiency. Ramping up production of prefilled single dose injectors will aid in the fight against COVID-19 by serving as a high speed, high volume alternative to multi-dose glass vials. The project marks the first approved loan under new authority delegated by President Trump under the Defense Production Act (DPA) that enables DFC and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to collaborate in support of the domestic response to COVID-19.
“By utilizing DFC’s authority under the DPA, our investment in ApiJect will serve as a huge step forward in our fight against this global pandemic,” said DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler. “ApiJect is currently working with vaccine creators to expedite the delivery of a critical weapon in the fight against COVID-19. Our collaboration with ApiJect will play a key role in enhancing the health and safety of Americans.”
“The safe and effective delivery of vaccines and therapeutics is critical to combatting COVID-19,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, M.D. “We are constantly pursuing new technologies to build our capacity and improve our response capabilities in public health emergencies. By investing in domestic production, we are reducing our dependence on a global supply chain and ensuring we can produce the supplies we need right here at home."
“DoD is honored to be working with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to provide acquisition and technical support to the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic led by the Department of Health and Human Services,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Ellen M. Lord. “This loan supports the production of critically needed medical supplies made in the United States by American workers. This loan program is one of many DoD initiatives to reduce our reliance on foreign sources and increase the security and resilience of our supply chains, which is at the nexus of U.S. national and economic security.”
This loan would allow ApiJect to build out infrastructure in North Carolina and deliver a projected annual capacity of up to 3 billion vaccine doses, which is a monthly capacity equal to the full U.S. population coverage. The facility will be able to handle 15 different drugs, vaccines, and therapeutics at the same time, including almost all leading COVID-19 candidates. Additionally, ApiJect will have the ability to switch production quickly, allowing the company to produce in mass quantities and rapidly change to more effective or efficient vaccines as needed.
ApiJect anticipates this project will also facilitate the reshoring of critical drug types after COVID-19 demand is met, producing up to 20% of total U.S. consumption of the next generation of antibiotics and cytotoxic drugs. In addition to the DFC loan, significant private investment will support the construction of a high-quality needle hub facility which will substantially reduce ApiJect’s reliance on foreign supply chains.
Closing of the DFC loan is conditioned on DFC’s completion of due diligence and finalization of financing agreements. The DFC loan will finance 75% of the project’s capital costs, with the remaining 25% coming from a capital raise led by U.S, investment bank, Jefferies Financial Group, Inc.
Signed by President Trump on May 14, 2020, Executive Order 13922 delegates DoD’s DPA authority to the DFC CEO to leverage its financial tools to re-shore production of strategic resources and strengthen related domestic supply chains in response to COVID-19. This authority is carried out in close partnership and coordination with DoD, which bears all costs of DFC’s DPA program. DFC recently launched a request for proposals from private sector entities seeking DFC financing under the DPA for projects that support the domestic production or distribution of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical testing supplies, vaccines, ventilation equipment, or relevant ancillary materials and technologies. Visit dfc.gov/dpa to learn more.
These efforts complement DFC’s global response to both the health-related and economic impacts of COVID-19. The agency recently announced a call for proposals under its new Health and Prosperity Initiative, which seeks to catalyze $5 billion of investment in projects that help developing countries respond to COVID-19 and build greater health resilience. Under the initiative, DFC is particularly focused on investments in health system capacity, including supply chains that expand the distribution of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other medical supplies, products, and equipment.
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.