IDT to boost fill/finish at VLP vax plant

Germany's IDT Biologika has become the latest to announce an expansion in vaccine production capabilities. The expansion affects the CMO's existing facility in Dessau-Rosslau, which produces live human viral vaccines.

The expansion includes the addition of a high-speed filling line and a boost in lyophilization capacity. The company says it expects the new gear to yield a four- to five-fold increase in filling speed for commercial high-volume production. The line is expected to be ready by mid-2013.

IDT announced also the addition of 80 employees to its workforce--an increase of approximately 11 percent since last year--to keep pace with demand for its biologics services. The hires raise head-count to about 830.

Other manufacturers have recently been boosting capacity to meet growing vaccine demand. Medicago is developing a 90,000-square-foot cGMP facility having a production goal of 10 million doses per month of its plant-expressed virus-like particle pandemic influenza vaccine; CPL Biologicals, another VLP vax maker, is at the validation stage for a plant in India having a capacity of 60 million doses per year, as reported. Pfizer, meanwhile, said in June that it plans to hire 60 manufacturing workers at an animal vaccine plant in Lincoln, NE, by year's end.

- see the IDT announcement