Dessau-Rosslau, 29 Juni 2022 – IDT Biologika is one of five pharmaceutical companies preparing to tackle further pandemics. The goal is to have made all necessary preparations by July 2023 to supply the population in Germany and Europe with vaccines at short notice in the event of an emergency. In mid-June IDT welcomed Dr. Joachim Bug and Dr. Christopher Schuster and of ZEPAI, the Center for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI), to a kick-off meeting.
On 03 May 2022, the signing of the pandemic preparedness contracts between the German government and pharmaceutical firms took place at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut in Langen – three companies for mRNA vaccines, one company for protein vaccines and IDT in the field of vector vaccine supply. The focus here is not specifically on Covid, but pandemic emergencies in general, which cannot be ruled out with new pathogens in the future. The goal is to obtain a vaccine from the pathogen as quickly as possible in the event of a pandemic. As a rule, the vaccine must be delivered no later than the fourth month after the first call by the federal government. The companies and ZEPAI are making preparations for this together.
ZEPAI is based at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut and co-ordinates pandemic contingency and pandemic response with vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.
“The likelihood of pandemics, as well as the speed of their spread, has increased due to globalization. This will not be the last pandemic, and we need to be prepared,” says Dr. Joachim Bug, Deputy Director of the ZEPAI, at the kick-off.
Dr. Jürgen Betzing, CEO IDT Biologika, adds: “We were able to provide good support during the pandemic. Every employee is proud of the contribution we made. And after putting so much work into the concept of vaccine production for pandemic prevention, this agreement is welcome recognition of this. As CEO, I am personally very pleased that we are one of the leading players in Germany in the event of a pandemic. It is necessary and important to be well prepared. We are looking forward to working with the German government, and ZEPAI in particular.”
The common goal of ZEPAI and the companies is transparent cooperation regarding progress in establishing pandemic readiness. ZEPAI itself has appointed dedicated contacts for each company, including experts from the fields of industry and pharmaceuticals, to work with the companies towards this objective. ZEPAI regularly performs auditing and monitoring of contractual agreements on behalf of the federal government as a contractual partner with IDT. IDT is required to provide regular status reports to verify the progress of the project.
Many experts are involved at IDT. Nearly all departments were represented at the kick-off meeting: Development, Purchasing, Commercial, Legal, Supply Chain, Quality and Production. Head of the project team is Dörthe Ackenhausen of Project Management. Following the meeting, Dr. Joachim Bug was able to take stock of the level of preparation at IDT Biologika with a tour of the site and various areas.