CSTD Manufacturing Facility Costs US$30 Million


US-basedClosed System Transfer Devices (CSTD) maker to open new US$30m manufacturing facility

Equashield, a leading provider of Closed System Transfer Devices (CSTDs) for the safe and simple handling of hazardous drugs, today held a groundbreaking for a new CSTD Manufacturing Facility. The company will invest an estimated $30 million to build the new CSTD Manufacturing Plant to meet the growing market demand for manual and automated hazardous drug compounding devices.

Equashield to Open New $30 Million CSTD Manufacturing Facility to Accommodate Future Growth in Product Portfolio and Increase Production Capabilities

The new plant will expand the manufacturing capabilities of Equashield, Equashield’s flagship CSTD Manufacturing Facility, as well as the new Equashield Pro closed system drug compounding robot, first unveiled at the ASHP Midyear meeting.

According to Marino Kriheli, co-founder of Equashield, “As Equashield continues to expand into new international markets, this plant will provide the capacity to significantly expand our product portfolio, while enabling us to fulfill worldwide need for current and future CSTD demand. With these enhanced capabilities Equashield can continue to make a difference for those who work with and around hazardous drugs.” These differences described by Kriheli as a point of difference for Equashield with their new CSTD developments.

Construction of the 112,000-square foot building housing the CSTD Manufacturing Facility is expected to complete in July 2019. It will include a 20,000-square foot CSTD Manufacturing cleanroom space, incorporating the HVAC variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system for cooling and air conditioning. Production will be fully automated, from raw materials entry to packaging and palletizing, to preserve sterility of products.

What is a CSTD robot and how does it work?

A closed system robot is an automated compounding system, specifically designed around Closed System Transfer Devices to provide an additional layer of protection for the healthcare worker. Drug vials are positioned in the insertion compartment, while the Equashield CSTD syringes are placed on a convoy and IV bags are locked into dedicated stands. The dose verification software identifies the correct drug vials for compounding. A syringe pump then collects the corresponding syringe to withdraw the required drug volume for injecting into the final container. The incorporation of Closed System syringes prevents the escape of any drug residue or vapor. Equashield® Pro is currently the only such system on the market.

The definition of a closed system drug transfer device was first published in an alert warning released by the American National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This warning was issued in relation to studies that showed a correlation between working with or near hazardous drugs in a health care environment and the increased risk of developing skin rashes, infertility, miscarriage and infant birth defects, as well as the possibility of developing leukemia and other forms of cancer. This NIOSH alert recommended that a closed system drug transfer device be used whenever hazardous drugs were to be handled.