In the course of a ceremonial event, IDT Biologika has paid tribute to the contribution made by employees and partners to fulfilling the requirements for entering the so-called pandemic preparedness phase. In addition to the Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, Dr. Reiner Haseloff, the guests of honor also included Prof. Dr. Isabelle Bekeredjian-Ding, acting head of the Center for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics (ZEPAI).
IDT Biologika is one of five pharmaceutical companies selected for pandemic preparedness by the German government. The signing of the agreements on 3 May 2022 marked the beginning of the qualification phase. IDT Biologika successfully concluded its preparations after just 14 months, following which entry to the preparedness phase was confirmed by ZEPAI on 7 August 2023. With this, manufacturing capacity for 80 million doses of vector vaccine per year have been secured for the contractual duration of at least five years.
“Preparing for future and, above all, as yet unknown pandemics is a very significant responsibility for society, it is a vital contribution to protecting people. The past months have been very challenging. However, building upon our expertise and the experience, we were able to meet the requirements specified in just 14 months. This speed was achieved thanks to the intense efforts of our employees and the dependability and commitment of our partners. They made a key contribution to ensuring that the new capacity – such as here in production – is available on time and that all of the processes relevant for procurement and manufacturing were established securely,” acknowledged CEO Dr. Jürgen Betzing.
Guest of honor at the ceremony was Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt Dr. Reiner Haseloff, who, had the following message for the guests in attendance from the worlds of politics and business as well as the general public: “During the covid pandemic millions of people needed to be provided with large quantities of vaccines at short notice. This was a medical challenge as well as a logistical one. Thanks to companies such as IDT, this challenge could be overcome. IDT has the know-how, the technology and above all the necessary capacity to enable rapid commercial production. The company entering the pandemic preparedness phase constitutes a major milestone for pandemic preparation in Germany and is a manifestation of the capability and innovative energy of Saxony-Anhalt as a pharmaceuticals location.”
The acting head of ZEPAI, Prof. Dr. Isabelle Bekeredjian-Ding, also underscored the significance of pandemic preparedness: “With the granting of the pandemic preparedness status, ZEPAI has made a key contribution to the protection of the German population against future pandemics. With this, our vision of limiting the harm caused by a pandemic through the rapid provision of vaccines has taken a significant step closer to being realized.”
The primary requirements of pandemic preparedness are the availability of critical supplier products, manufacturing lines ready for operation and trained personnel on hand at all times. To achieve this, IDT drew up detailed plans and undertook investments to enable the swift and smooth commencement and continuation of manufacturing in the event of a pandemic.
The pandemic preparedness concept of IDT features an additional building for drug substance manufacturing, a new high-speed filling line and an extra deep-freeze unit at the Dessau-Roßlau site. Overall, the company has invested around 100 million euros in expanding capacity for manufacturing and filling.
Information regarding pandemic preparedness:
The German government has established the pandemic preparedness agreements with the goal of securing fast and comprehensive vaccine supplies for the German population in the case of a pandemic. Under the terms of the agreement, IDT Biologika commits itself to undertake the manufacture of pandemic vaccines in Germany and to maintain the necessary production capacity for 80 million doses of a vector vaccine on standby each year for the contractual duration of at least five years.
This ensures the prompt ramping up of the production of vaccines and very fast response times in the event of a pandemic. IDT is subject to contractual specifications that it is required to fulfil over the course of the maximum two-year qualification phase before the status of pandemic preparedness is achieved.