The Biontech/Pfizer corona vaccine COMIRNATY® is only applicable with the addition of high-purity sodium chloride solution. K+S is one of the largest manufacturers of the pharmaceutical-grade sodium chloride required for this purpose.
“This is further evidence of our important contribution to the system-relevant essential supply of important industries and the health of the population,” says Dr. Burkhard Lohr, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft. “Particularly the production of active ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry is something many people don't consider when thinking of K+S. Our specialties comprise a wide range of applications not only enriching our lives on a daily basis, but also being vital.”
Vaccine only applicable with sodium chloride
The well-known 0.9% infusion solution is an important standard pharmaceutical product in every hospital. The basic ingredient contained is high-purity sodium chloride (NaCl), which is mainly produced by K+S in Germany. For the nationwide administration of the vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer, which is currently being initiated, this product now plays an important role: Prior to injection, the vaccine must first be diluted with 1.8 ml NaCl per dose before it can be administered.
The high-purity sodium chloride contained in the saline solution is the mode of transportation for the vaccine enabling its absorption by the human organism. “Our salt acts as a transportation medium for the active ingredient,” says Holger Bekemeier, Head of the Industry+ customer segment at K+S. “Therefore, many corona vaccines contain amounts of K+S product. This makes us proud and clearly demonstrates the importance of our products!”
K+S is the world's largest producer of pharmaceutical salt. In Germany, the company produces several 10,000 tonnes of high-purity sodium chloride annually at the Borth salt plant (Wesel district) in North Rhine-Westphalia. High purity sodium chloride is not only used as an infusion solution in hospitals, but also in dialysis and for the production of pharmaceuticals.
Besides high-purity sodium chloride, K+S additionally produces potassium salts of high purity in Germany, which are also used by the pharmaceutical industry for the production of a wide range of medicines. At K+S, the pharmaceutical salt business is part of the Industry+ customer segment, in which salts for the chemical and food industries as well as for water softening and animal feed are also globally supplied.
"K+S considers itself a customer-focused, independent minerals company for the Agriculture, Industry, Consumers, and Communities segments. Our more than 14,000 employees enable farmers to provide nutrition for the world, solutions that keep industries going, improve daily life for consumers and provide safety in the winter. We continually meet the growing demand for mineral products from production sites in Europe, North and South America as well as a worldwide sales network. We strive for sustainability because we are deeply committed to our responsibilities to people, environment, communities and economy in the regions in which we operate."
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