Germany’s IDT Biologika to build vet biologics plant in Canada

The new IDT Biologika building in Cambridge will be home to a state-of-the-art animal vaccine manufacturing hub serving North America. (Photo: Business Wire)

German pharmaceutical company IDT Biologika is doubling down on it animal health presence in North America with the acquisition of a new facility in Ontario. The company is working with Gallant Custom Laboratories of Cambridge, Ont. to in converting the recently purchased building into a vaccine manufacturing plant.

“If you hadn’t heard of IDT in Canada before, you will now,” said Jackie Gallant, founder, and president of Gallant Custom Laboratories.

“This new facility will be a great boost for Canadian animal health and the local economy,” said Gallant, who oversees animal health R&D and customer relations in Canada. “Additionally, it offers tremendous expansion possibilities in the future to help us continue to meet the demands of a strategically important, growing market in the Americas.”

Gallant, which runs an autogenous veterinary biologics facility in Cambridge, was purchased by IDT in 2015. The company is now helping IDT in its plans to gain a more solid presence in the North American animal health market. As part of this plan, the expansion of Gallant’s operations in its Cambridge laboratory will begin as early as summer 2018.

IDT also purchased last week, a building in Cambridge from Com Dev. Ltd. The building will be converted into a state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility.

“We intend to raise the bar for manufacturing technology and innovation, capacity, and development of veterinary biologics in Canada,” said Andreas Kastenbauer, managing director of IDT and head of the company’s global Animal Health Division. “As we continue to expand our footprint across the Americas, veterinarians, farmers and government agencies in Canada and in the region are sure to reap important benefits from the breadth and depth of our capabilities that will emanate from this vaccine manufacturing hub in the years to come. “

IDT wants to become the region’s leading autogenous and commercial vaccine manufacturer

Two years ago, the company snapped up Gallant and launched a mission to establish Canada’s only “vaccine-only” animal health company.

Following its Gallant acquisition, IDT purchased Ridgeway Biologicals Ltd, a UK-based supplier of autogenous vaccines for production animals and aquaculture. With that move, IDT formally established its Animal Health Americas business unit.

The nearly 32,000-square foot facility which IDT bought,  will support a significant increase in IDT’s production capacity and innovative and efficient processes for the commercial production of animal health vaccines, including antigen production, blending-filling-packaging, storage, a clean room lab, offices and meeting areas, and bacterial research that meet highest quality requirements.

Automation, as well as cutting-edge equipment and computing capabilities, are being considered in construction and installation plans.

The 60 Struck Court building is strategically located in what is called “Canada’s Technology Triangle” where a significant number of technology and advanced manufacturing companies are located in an area with quick access to Highway #401 and Highway #24 and the Greater Toronto area. The two-story facility was constructed in 1999 and sits on three acres. It currently features professional office space with a mix of private offices and open areas, controlled lab spaces and approximately 3,870 sq. ft. of warehouse space. The site allows for ample parking or future expansion.

IDT said it will more than double the Gallant employee base over the next few years.

“IDT is literally doubling down in Canada and is here to stay,” said Kastenbauer. “As we embark on this important transition, we will continue to collaborate with local, regional and national officials to ensure our success and look forward to contributing to the Canadian economic community in the years to come.”

The development is welcome news for Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig.

“We are excited to celebrate with IDT Biologika on their recent building acquisition. We were hosted in Germany by IDT officials in November of 2016, where we discussed their growth plans and toured their head office and their impressive high-tech automated production facilities,” Craig said. “We are pleased that IDT has chosen Cambridge for its Canadian centre for Animal Health vaccine manufacturing.”

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