Pluss Advanced Technologies (PLUSS) has received support from SAMRIDH to increase the manufacturing capacity of its ‘temperature-controlled’ shipping containers for pharmaceuticals. PLUSS makes these containers from ‘phase change materials’ using the concept of thermal energy storage, to maintain inside-temperature without electricity at desired levels for up to 120 hours. The containers, called Celsure, are used in the transport and storage of temperature-sensitive pharma products, including vaccines. Through an innovative financing model, SAMRIDH leveraged philanthropic funds to help PLUSS raise the commercial capital needed for the expansion of its business operations.
SAMRIDH is supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by IPE Global.
PLUSS provides Celsure containers that maintain a precise temperature between two and eight degrees celsius, 15 and 25°C and -20°C, for up to five days. These solutions bring operation and cost-efficiency in the transport of temperature-sensitive products. They are used by pharma, diagnostics and biotech companies to pack and transport temperature-sensitive drugs, vaccines, test kits, clinical trial samples and other products that require a constant temperature to maintain their efficacy. With support from SAMRIDH, PLUSS will double the manufacturing capacity of Celsure boxes to 6,000 boxes per month at its facility in Hyderabad. This will assist pharma and biotech companies in making timely deliveries of COVID-19 test kits, drugs and vaccines to remote areas where it is a considerable challenge to maintain the right cold chain.
SAMRIDH will also assist with the procurement of the Celsure containers by nations in Africa, to facilitate quick vaccination of their citizens.
Speaking in this regard, Samit Jain, CEO, Pluss Advanced Technologies, said, “It is an honour to support our country’s response to the pandemic. The innovative temperature-controlled Celsure containers have been developed indigenously, and are low-cost. The support from SAMRIDH would enable COVID vaccines to reach remote communities quickly, and without any loss in transit.”
Ashish Mendhi, Project Lead, SAMRIDH Healthcare Blended Financing Facility, reflecting on the collaboration, said, “Our collaboration with PLUSS reflects SAMRIDH’s commitment to support national healthcare priorities with market-based solutions and innovative financing. As India rolls out the world’s largest immunisation drive, this partnership is an important step towards improving coverage of COVID-19 vaccinations and effectively delivering vaccines to isolated and marginalised populations.”
Celsure container is customisable, and can maintain inside-temperature from -70°C to +30°C, in 35 different ranges. PLUSS has received the Government of India’s Technology Day award for 2021, for its Celsure range of pharmaceutical cold-chain packaging solutions. PLUSS has also received patents in the US and Europe for this range.