Unilife has secured US Government financial backing to support the construction of its new global headquarters and manufacturing facility in York, Pennsylvania, which will have the capacity to manufacture up to 400 million units of safety syringes.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed to guarantee $10m of an $18m mortgage Unilife has now obtained from Metro Bank of Harrisburg to support construction of the 165,000sqft facility.

Unilife previously qualified for an additional $5.4m in grants and loans from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the majority of which relates to the development of the York facility.

The combined financial commitments by US and Pennsylvania Government agencies represent approximately half of the total $31m projected cost of the York facility.

Unilife claims that the York facility will feature manufacturing, environmental control and material handling systems that will maximise overall production efficiencies and meet the highest pharmaceutical standards for primary drug containers.

Additionally, an advanced Water-for-Injection (WFI) system will meet established pharmaceutical standards of water purity required for the production of the Unifill ready-to-fill syringe.

Unilife has also secured zoning approval for a potential 100,000 square foot extension at the York facility that would increase total annual production capacity of the site to an optimal target of one billion units of Unilife’s proprietary range of safety syringes.

Unilife CEO Alan Shortall said that they are confident that the facility will be ready for operations by the end of this year to align with the industrialization program for the Unifill syringe.

Primary target customers for Unilife products include pharmaceutical manufacturers, suppliers of medical equipment to healthcare facilities and patients who self-administer prescription medication.