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Illinois Governor’s company profiting off of Covid vaccines?

Updated: Oct 31, 2021

I‘ll keep this short. Last year, we helped spearhead a massive story about Governor JB Pritzker and his companies that produced Covid tests. It got picked up by other outlets (but of course, the original Facebook post with all of the sources by a MAA ally and our article that put it together didn’t get the credit lol). Now, in a time in which the IL Governor and legislators are changing laws so it’s harder for people to object to vaccine mandates (big pharma donated heavily to IL politicians recently btw), it turns out one of Pritzker‘s companies is helping ramp up (and possible already has been) Covid vaccine production.

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —, an intelligent software company for life science manufacturing that is helping to increase the speed to market on a number of COVID-19 vaccines, announced today a $24M Series B round, led by Insight Partners. Pacific Western Bank, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, GFR Fund and The Venture Reality Fund also joined the round. This round brings Apprentice’s total capital to over $40M.
As the FDA advisory committee meets today to consider authorizing Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine for emergency use, there is no better time to bring to light the immense challenges and hurdles so many life science manufacturing teams have faced throughout this last year. With unprecedented speed, global pharmaceutical leaders and their teams raced to develop an effective vaccine during what has been a truly devastating pandemic. We are eager to see this potential third vaccine join the ranks with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. If cleared, it would be the only one to provide protection with a single dose, which may help expedite inoculation efforts as virus variants continue to spread.
It’s important to note that pharma, in general, has seen major changes over the years, advancing drug development from easy-to-manufacture pills, to biologics and personalized medicine. This increase in complexity and demand has encouraged the life sciences industry to look beyond outdated, traditional approaches, toward more advanced, intelligent technology that can better handle these new processes and the challenges that go along with them.
Our global Apprentice teams are so honored and proud to be a part of the development and manufacturing of today’s critical drug products, treatments and therapeutics. We are committed to helping life science teams improve their processes and and increase speed to market so that safe, reliable treatments get to the people who need them the most.
Apprentice, a software startup in the pharmaceuticals market, recently announced $24 million in funding in its Series B round. The New Jersey company is planning to use its new capabilities to support COVID-19 vaccine production.
The vaccine manufacturing challenge is significant. According to the New York Times, "Pfizer and BioNTech expect to manufacture over 1.3 billion doses of their vaccine worldwide by the end of 2021." Also, there is incredible pressure on vaccine makers to produce vaccines at speed. Therefore, Apprentice's ability to help companies speed up their manufacturing processes will become necessary.

Interesting direct connection to the IL governor and his family business to say the least....

UPDATE 10/31:

Just adding this in as well, as it appears JB’s family company owns Vertellus and they just acquired this.....

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vertellus, a manufacturer of specialty products for various consumer goods, food & agriculture, healthcare, and industrial markets, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain businesses of Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund (TSX: CHE.UN) (“Chemtrade”). This acquisition will expand Vertellus’ capabilities to manufacture and develop specialty ingredients in high-growth healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.
Under the terms of the transaction, Vertellus will acquire Chemtrade’s business units responsible for producing potassium chloride, caustic pellets, and vaccine adjuvants. The acquired businesses will give Vertellus a leading market position in the manufacturing of specialty ingredients that are essential in the efficacy of medications for hypertension and diabetes, production of next-generation biologics, and improving the effectiveness of certain vaccines. With this acquisition, Vertellus will reach an expanding global base of long-term customers and strengthen its portfolio in these dynamic market segments.
John Van Hulle, CEO of Vertellus, said, “We are pleased to welcome these strong businesses and talented teams to the Vertellus family. The high-quality product portfolios, recurring base of customers, and robust R&D pipelines of these Chemtrade businesses will position us to grow and expand our presence in the attractive healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. The addition of these growth-oriented businesses to Vertellus will strengthen our commitment to our customers and help us meet increasing demand for these critical healthcare and pharmaceutical specialty ingredients.”
Jeff Berresford, VP & General Manager of Specialty Chemicals at Chemtrade, said, “We believe that Vertellus is the right strategic partner for the next phase of our business’ growth and expansion. We sought to partner with a team that respected our commitment to innovation and shared our customer-centric approach. With Vertellus as our partner, we are confident we will expand into new geographies and end markets, continue to invest in our technology, and enhance our manufacturing capacity so we can continue to deliver superior service for our global customers.”
Thomas Chadwick, Principal at Pritzker Private Capital, added, “This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit with Vertellus, and we are excited to support the ongoing success of the combined business. As we integrate these growing businesses, Vertellus will be in a strong position to benefit from desirable market dynamics and achieve long-term growth and expansion.”
The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.


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