The Transylvania Times -

Pisgah Labs Pivots To Making Hand Sanitizer - Brevard NC


Last updated 4/21/2020 at 11:17am

Local pharmaceutical manufacturer Pisgah Labs has been producing hand sanitizer to help meet the demand created by the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy photo by Real Digital Productions)

Local pharmaceutical manufacturer Pisgah Labs has seen its pivot to producing hand sanitizer "go viral" after just one week of offering the product.

"We called locally. We called different businesses...and put together an order sheet and started sending it out," said Dani Bailey, site manager for Pisgah Labs. "All of these businesses are sharing it with the businesses they work with, and then those businesses were sharing it. It's kind of done the Facebook thing...You know, a vast majority of the calls that we're getting now are people who we didn't even contact to begin with."

Bailey said that three weeks ago Pisgah Labs decided to start manufacturing the hand sanitizer, in addition to the business' typical production of specialized active pharmaceutical ingredients,

Pisgah Labs started sending out product on Monday, April 13.

"We're very impressed and happy with the employees," Bailey said. "We've been open the entire time, and we had an opportunity to help not only the public but to help the company a little bit and try to move things along for us."

Typically, for a product to go from the beginning stages to production, Bailey said, it could take between four to six months, but Pisgah Labs was able to streamline that process to begin producing sanitizer in three weeks.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed much of the economy, Bailey said Pisgah Labs has been fortunate to not have to layoff anyone or cut hours, and is confident business will remain steady with the production of the sanitizer.

Since Monday the laboratory has produced 240 gallons of ethanol-based sanitizer and 340 gallons of an isopropyl based blend. Bailey said that, initially, Pisgah Labs offered the product to local businesses, and until now, most of the sales have gone to local businesses.

But, she said, recently they've been receiving calls from out-of-state asking about their hand sanitizer.

"Jennings (Builders Supply), McNeely's (Store and Rental), plumbers, electricians, Duke Energy. It kind of blew up on us a little bit, so to speak," Bailey said.

Pisgah Labs only offers their sanitizer to other businesses, but Bailey said the public can find their product at a few of their customers' retail stores, including Food Matters and McNeely's.

In 2018, Pisgah Labs was purchased by Ipca Laboratories Limited, an Indian pharmaceutical company, and since then Bailey said the company has been trying to "rebuild," get new clients and make new products.

"It sounds horrible, but it's kind of come at a good time for us," Bailey said. "It's helping the company sustain while we rebuild. We had an empty manufacturing suite. We were in the process of bringing a new drug substance, which requires a lot of upfront testing and paperwork, so we weren't manufacturing," Bailey said. "Transylvania County contacted us about possibly making some sanitizer, and a couple of other businesses had called to inquire if we had any, if we were going to make any."

The hand sanitizer blends Pisgah Labs are formulating are thinner than other types of sanitizer, Bailey said, because they are using an FDA formula that does not allow thickening agents. Already, the company has seen repeat customers.

"It's been an amazing process and it's been an amazing team that's been able to pull this off," Bailey said.

Pisgah Labs is still taking orders from businesses looking to purchase the hand sanitizer. For more information, call (828) 884-2789 or email [email protected]


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