The German government has concluded agreements with five companies, including IDT Biologika, to provide vaccines in the years up to 2029. In the event of a continuation of the covid pandemic or a new pandemic, this will see IDT Biologika grant the German government access to production capacity, as well as being in a position to manufacture and supply urgently required vaccines swiftly.
Within the scope of the pandemic preparedness of the federal government, IDT Biologika will provide German citizens with vector-based vaccines. The covid pandemic has demonstrated on many occasions that the company is capable of achieving this in the shortest of times. For example, in 2021 IDT responded at short notice to produce covid vaccines for AstraZeneca and Janssen as well as also establishing drug substance production for the first inactivated covid vaccine from Valneva in just a few months.
“It is important to us to be making a significant contribution to medical care in the event of a pandemic. For years now we have been seeing increased demand for development and manufacturing capacity for vaccines and new forms of treatment. Consequently, we invested in these technologies and highly qualified personnel at an early stage and have accelerated and even brought forward a number of investment projects, such as the expansion of drug substance production and filling. In the past year we have shown on several occasions that we are able to realize complex projects for our customers both rapidly and flexibly. The fact that IDT Biologika forms part of the German government program for preparedness is an indication of the great trust in our capability and reliability,” says Dr. Jürgen Betzing, CEO of IDT Biologika.
Pandemic preparedness: Providing large quantities of vaccines at short notice
The agreements between the companies and the federal government provide for the reservation of manufacturing capacity for the government which – following the establishment of preparedness – can be called upon at any time. The companies will be able to supply the ordered quantities in just a few months.
IDT has prepared for this, investing in the pharmaceuticals site over a number of years and increasing manufacturing capacity and expertise. In the course of the investment between 2020 and 2022 approximately 350 jobs are set to be created, together with areas for drug substance production, aseptic fluid filling, packaging capabilities and automated visual inspection. The new production units serve the manufacture of vaccines and biopharmaceutical products. They are set to enter operation in early 2023, after which they will be available to supply the requirements of the federal government.
“The new production units mean that we are well equipped to face a pandemic. Whilst last year saw longstanding customers provide pandemic response capacity for AstraZeneca and Janssen, in future it will be possible to ensure both the ongoing projects of our customers and a pandemic response at short notice. We are providing the German government program with good experience, the know-how of our employees and state-of-the-art production facilities. At the same time, this is also recognition for the performance and expertise of our team. It provides our company with planning certainty and strengthens the site here, in the center of Germany,” summarizes Dr. Jürgen Betzing in conclusion.
In recent months the Vaccine Production Task Force, set up by the Ministry of Economics last year, has negotiated pandemic preparedness agreements with the companies on behalf of the Ministry of Health. Further administration and management will now be undertaken at the Center for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (ZEPAI), for which the Federal Ministry of Health is responsible. The next step will see the signing of the pandemic preparedness agreements. This will be followed by the beginning of preparations for implementation in the event of a pandemic.