Tuesday, 22. September 2015

Rockville expands the IDT vaccine development and production offer

Plenty has changed in a very short time for IDT Biologika employees in Maryland. On “Day One” they were welcomed to the IDT family and introduced to a company with a significantly different outlook from before. Business success is now monitored using specific economic indicators as key guidelines, making income management a necessity across all functions. The management team has been restructured, and is greeting the market and the public with a grand opening.

How has work changed in Rockville? IDT intern investigated this question over the summer. Reginald Kidd is responsible for production operations, coming over from Aeras TB where he had been since 2008. He already had the chance to tour the Vaccines business unit in Dessau, which made a very strong impression on him overall. In comparison, it was clear to him that investments would be needed to improve manufacturing in Rockville. “The Rockville production line is of course comparatively small, but the capacities we have here complement those in Dessau quite well.” His current focus is on modernizing production, which will cause stoppages for several weeks in various areas of operations.

Dave McCown, who has worked in project management and purchasing functions in the predecessor company since 2006, is optimistic: “Now we can offer customers a more comprehensive selection, from Phase 1 and 2 here in Rockville to Phase 3 and commercial in our production facility in Germany. Customers will greatly appreciate this as an important advantage. By revamping our manufacturing facility we will be able to provide our clients greater manufacturing flexibility. With IDT Rockville and IDT Germany working together, we‘re getting into the real heart of vaccine production,” says Dave McCown.

Kyle Carter confirms that work has increased significantly in just a few weeks, and that a change of attitude is in order. “The way IDT looks at the business side is a real difference,” says Carter about his experiences of the past few days. He regrets that he was not able to join in the visit to Dessau, because his coworkers who toured IDT there came back with great enthusiasm for the company and the site. He would like to explain to his German colleagues what goes on at IDT in Rockville in more detail. For now he is working in project management and knows that IDT will be looking closely at sales and revenue for every project.

Livia Cummings is responsible for the quality assurance department and is very disappointed to have missed Day One while away on vacation. She was already familiar with IDT from earlier positions in Europe, and is strongly convinced that attention to compliance issues will increase significantly under IDT. “When you‘ve worked in Europe and the US, you know the differences in how people work and in corporate culture,” says Livia Cummings. “It‘s important that both sides see these differences and learn to understand them.”

Vaccine production in Rockville
Vaccine production in Rockville

Closer to the US market

“It was clear within a few weeks that we have moved much closer to the American market with our new IDT location,” says IDT CEO Dr. Ralf Pfirmann. “The important message for our customers is that Rockville is fully integrated into the Vaccines business unit in terms of offerings and operations. This makes it clear that Rockville represents an expansion of IDT’s abilities and capacities, and not a new business – our customers don’t like experiments.”

The new site will be headed up by Dr. Thomas Richter. Dr. Pfirmann has set an ambitious program over the next few years for him and the IDT management team in Rockville, in which the finance, management and contract functions have been reinforced. “We expect IDT Rockville to make a significant contribution to the IDT Group’s earnings this year already. Sales for phase 1 and 2 test sample production should rise significantly in the next three years, with 20–30 projects run annually, which will also require additional hiring.”

IDT Rockville is holding a grand opening celebration at the end of September to introduce itself to local and municipal authorities, the biotech sector and the market, so that our guests and as many market participants as possible in North America know that IDT Rockville works as an integrated part of the IDT family, actively contributes to its offerings, and not least has shown impressive development in a short time.

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