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The SkyCell 1500DF – A game-changer in the transportation of deep-frozen medicine

At SkyCell we put safety, security, and sustainability at the forefront of everything we do. In this way, we have engineered the new deep-frozen 1500DF container, which is not only safer and more secure than traditional deep-frozen options, but also means that more life-saving medicines and active pharma ingredients (APIs) can be transported in one air cargo shipment.

Nico Ros, CTO and Co-Founder of SkyCell

Building a SkyCell container is a highly sophisticated work of engineering, like designing a Formula One car. Recognizing that transporting deep-frozen pharma products is still a challenge for many pharma shippers, it quickly became clear there would be a need for deep-frozen transportation.

We aimed to create the most efficient design by working with Ansys’ advanced AI software while maintaining our laser-sharp focus on safety – both in terms of protecting the viability of the medicine and when it comes to the container itself. Our platform development approach and virtual modelling allowed us to develop a deep-frozen solution with a game-changing performance that is in line with our safe, secure, and sustainable philosophy.

To date, dry ice has been central to maintaining the deep-frozen temperatures that certain pharmaceutical products – such as vaccines or clinical trials – need to be stored at while they are in transit. The capacity of deep-frozen shipments has been significantly limited, especially in aircraft, as a result of this dependence. Only a small amount of dry ice can be used per shipment, as it is poisonous in large quantities and therefore presents a risk to individuals involved in handling cargo stored in such containers.

SkyCell’s Swiss precision engineering and cutting-edge energy distribution system created a solution with an average independent run time of 120 hours with only 100kg of dry ice, which is a real game-changer. The SkyCell 1500DF maintains a steady temperature of -60°C to -80°C, enabling on average 1.75 million vials to be transported in a single aircraft. This is enough to vaccinate between 875,000 and 8.75 million people depending on the vaccine and concentration, and up to 10 times the capacity of common existing solutions.

The 1500DF is easy to handle, with no extra equipment needed – only a pallet jacket is required to simply load the container onto a truck. To ensure safe handling, the outside surface of the 1500DF container is kept at a constant ambient temperature.

As with everything we do, at SkyCell we are constantly innovating and improving our offering to ensure life-saving medicines make it to their destination fully viable. Our new highly innovative deep-frozen container is no different, and allows pharma companies to optimize supply chains using data to predict and control risk. With nearly one billion data points on factors including temperature, location, and time, it enables SkyCell to be at the highest level of the market with a failure rate of less than 0.1 percent while reducing environmental and business costs.