Icelandic start-up to help distribute COVID vaccines

16.10.2020 - 11:05
Controlant
 Mynd: Þór Ægisson
An Icelandic start-up is hoping to play a key role in the transport of COVID-19 vaccines and has now signed a deal with some of the biggest pharmaceuticals companies in the world.

Controlant, a young Icelandic tech company, has developed sensor units that monitor sensitive products in transit and storage, in real-time.

The company’s stock offering ended recently and attracted two billion krónur in investment—which was double the original target. Gísli Herjólfsson, CEO and co-founder, says Controlant has needed to work hard to meet rocketing demand as the world’s biggest drugs companies prepare to start distributing coronavirus vaccines and will be working with his company to do so. 

“Many of these vaccines that are starting to go out now need to be stored at minus 80 degrees and so the equipment is built so that there is a temperature probe monitoring the temperature of the product itself and then there is a device which sends all the information in real-time up into the cloud to track the location and ambient temperature of the product. First and foremost, we are trying to avoid situations that are so serious the medication has to be thrown away,” Gísli says. 

The first vaccines are set to start distribution in the coming weeks and Controlant is therefore growing fast—adding around five new staff members per week to tackle the enormous project. 

“The scale of the distribution is of a scale the drugs companies have not worked at before. So they immediately recognised the need to think re-think things from the bottom up. We are naturally very proud to have the chance to take part in that process. We expect to be good-to-go from the 1st November, but there’s a bit of wait-and-see.” 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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