SkyCell delivers 2.5 tonnes of life saving drugs to Iraq


SkyCell containers have transported 2.5 tonnes of compassionate drugs from London to Baghdad to treat patients suffering from copper poisoning.

Copper poisoning is a widespread problem in Iraq due to the burning of electronic waste and plastics, with copper overdoses affecting mental functions, irritating the nerves and nervous system leading to inflammatory conditions such as skin irritations, asthma and depression.

In cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Health, the experimental drugs, which were temperature sensitive and worth $6.8 million, were delivered to Baghdad in SkyCell containers, successfully completing a difficult logistical challenge, delivering the pharmaceuticals to a hospital in Baghdad.

SkyCell chief executive officer, Richard Ettl says: “We are very proud to have contributed with our technology to this humanitarian effort as part of the ongoing struggle to rebuild this war-torn country.”

The drugs required a fully controlled cold chain with an unbroken temperature environment between 2-8 degrees Celsius, and any temperature deviations would result in the shipment becoming unusable.

The security requirements at Baghdad Airport demand all shipments to be x-rayed, which would break the cold chain, but SkyCell co-founder Nico Ross says: “Hence, SkyCell 1500C units became the “containers-of-choice”, as their innovative design and passive cooling system not only guarantee the required temperature range, but also allow X-ray-examination without breaking the official seals.”

SkyCell business development director, Chiara Venuti says: “SkyCell was selected also due to the possibility to travel not only to the Baghdad airport but door-to-door to the dedicated hospital, giving a guarantee of maintenance in the cool chain. There was simply no room for error as any temperature deviations would cause the life-saving product to be written off with a replacement shipment taking around six months to manufacture.”