An innovative type of vial developed by the company SiO2 Materials in Auburn that can store coronavirus vaccines and other medical treatments received national attention on Sunday.
Forbes Magazine named Si02’s vials the “Best Product” in the magazine’s first annual Forbes Manufacturing Awards.
“Glass vials are ordinarily pretty boring stuff, but given the challenges of Covid vaccine distribution, they’re a hot commodity. New technology from this Auburn, Alabama-based firm could prove a better option,” begins the entry on SiO2 in the article announcing the awards.
SiO2 earned a wave of headlines in Alabama over the summer when it received a $143 million investment from the federal government to ramp up its ability to produce its proprietary vials.
Forbes describes the patented product as “a plastic vial with a pure glass coating that provides thermal and chemical stability.”
The Forbes Manufacturing Awards 2020 were written up by Amy Feldman, a senior editor at the magazine. They were based on Forbes’ reporting during the calendar year and selected in consultation with industry experts Jim Kim, Natan Linder and Chase Feiger.
U.S. Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) praised Forbes’ honoring of SiO2’s vials as “incredible news” in a tweet on Monday, adding that he is “[a]lways inspired by Alabama’s innovation and technological advancement.”
The vials produced in Auburn are being used to store and transport doses of the pharmaceutical company Moderna’s vaccine product.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey in December toured the SiO2 facility where the innovative vials are being produced.
“The technical accomplishments of SiO2 demonstrate to the world the kind of highly innovative and groundbreaking work that is being done in Alabama. We’re very grateful for this achievement and this company,” she stated.