St. Landry company provides materials for coronavirus R&D

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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A St. Landry Parish company already widely known as a supplier of super-clean containers for scientific research and other uses has been called on to join in the quest for a vaccine to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the major U.S. pharmaceutical companies has placed an order with C&G Containers and Scientific for 100,000 special bottles for use in its research and development for a vaccine, according to Lane Breaux, C&G CEO.

He said he could not name the company for proprietary reasons, but that it is “one of the five major pharmaceutical companies.” His company has been doing business with the pharmaceutical giant for several years, including providing bottles like the ones just ordered, Breaux said, “but on a much smaller scale.”

These latest bottles will be used for research “directly related to coronavirus research,” he said.

Researchers around the world are working on developing a coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible because of the pandemic that has infected millions of people. There is currently no vaccine for the virus and most scientists say it will likely take at least a year to develop and fully test one.          

C & G was established in 1988 as a small family-owned business for general packaging and other supplies for local industries and began to move into high-tech packaging in the early 1990s when the Environmental Protection Agency mandated that containers for certain environmental work had to be cleaned in a particular way. That environmental work led to preparation of vials, bottles, and other pharmaceutical materials.

“Our kitchen was, literally, our first production lab for the environmental materials,” Breaux, said. “We set up cleaning operations in the kitchen, used the home oven to sterilize them, and sat around the table shrink-wrapping hundreds of bottles for shipment,”

Today C&G makes sterile containers and specialized products for a wide variety of uses and is the largest supplier of environmental packaging in the nation. The company moved into an 83,000 square foot facility on I-49 North near Grand Coteau in 2017.

The large pharmaceutical order will require a second shift of workers, according to Breaux, which will mean about six new jobs in St. Landry. The company currently employs about 85 workers. The bottles they will be making are similar in appearance to those used for vitamin supplements ? amber in color, four inches tall, two inches wide.

They will be processed in a sterile environment that meets rigorous standards to ensure that no contaminants are introduced into research materials. The “clean room” is “very similar to what an operating room looks like,” Breaux said. “The workers are garbed like you see in an operating room.”

The company is also providing materials to help meet the demand for hand sanitizers. “We’ve shipped ten truckloads of bottles just for hand sanitizers,” Breaux said.

“It is gratifying to see that St. Landry companies such as C&G are able to make a contribution toward meeting this challenge,” said Bill Rodier, St. Landry economic development director. “I would be remiss if I did not also point out that it speaks highly of the dedication and quality of our workforce as well as to the leadership of the company.”

“It’s an honor to be able to participate in this work,” Breaux sad.

Three things to know about this story:

  • A major U.S. pharmaceutical company has placed an order with C&G Containers Scientific for 100,000 bottles for use in its research and development for a coronavirus vaccine.
  • These bottles will be used for research directly related to coronavirus research.
  • The bottles for pharmaceutical and other applications are manufactured in a sterile environment that meets rigorous standards.

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