Producer of Corona testing: company in the state of exception

A Berlin-based company is the first in the world a Corona Test. Maybe the business of your life – the Motivation is different. His company is currently workin

Producer of Corona testing: company in the state of exception

A Berlin-based company is the first in the world a Corona Test. Maybe the business of your life – the Motivation is different.

His company is currently working also at night: TIB Milbiol, managing Director of Olfert Landt photo: Kitty Kleist-Heinrich/TSP/imago

The production is running at full speed: Test Kits for the examination of Corona photo: Kitty Kleist-Heinrich/TSP/imago

most of The have long in the evening. Olfert't Landt. He is the managing Director of TIB Molbiol. The Berlin-based company is located in an old brick building in the district of Tempelhof. Probably the first in the world his company had developed in mid-January, a Corona Test.

The Test-Kit for 2.50 euros consists of two-through four-inches long, to the front of the tapered plastic tube. Every the front with colorful crumb: synthetic DNA of the Virus. The locking black, the other yellow. Be delivered to you now in 60 countries worldwide. Therefore, the biochemist, Landt and his 30 employees slide, is currently working Overtime to no end. Up in the night. Also on the weekend.

20 at. Landt is on the phone with the UN world health organization WHO. A DHL messenger waits until Dr. Constanze Landt, his wife, has the last of the boxes closed. Therein, Corona-Test Kits for India, Dubai and the USA. In a laboratory, an employees puts on disposable gloves. It is nine and a half in the evening. Then the managing Director of biotech rabbit brings personally, shoebox-sized packages. A enzyme Polymerase. For laboratory tests and, hence, the Corona Test is essential and currently in short supply worldwide.

"The advantage to us small companies is that we work at night," says Landt, later, in his office. His gray-and-white mottled hair, the 54-Year-old tied to a pigtail. Jeans. The Blue Sweater. His glasses stuck on the collar or wanders in the left Hand. "The last few weeks, the exception condition is. I always eat on the Run. 've already lost three kilos.“

Left of the biochemist told, the everyday is, as always, "just more intense": The phone constantly ringing, orders must be checked, export conditions are observed. His Team take the "fatalistic good humor". Fortunately, his wife had ordered at an early stage of raw materials, containers and labels and the amounts of increases, otherwise you could now set the work. His son – actually, a Student – to be able to tag the current 60 hours a week, because he had a knack for the machine.

The production is in full swing: In the laboratory, are strung on white tables machines – knee high beige metal boxes with a small Display. In the front they are semi-open, so that the bottles therein are visible. You clattering, puffing and beeping. You continue to run at night, synthetic fragments of the Virus for the Test to produce. It smells chemically sweet. Bottles with red and green liquid, pipettes, and test tubes are available in the classroom to the big room. About adhesive mats, so Dirt stays out of the shoes, stick, leads to a hallway next to the packing room. A trolley with Test Kits for Manila is ready.

in Order to test Corona in the laboratory is needed in addition to the standard material Polymerase, the special material to make the Virus in the smear of the Patient*the inside is visible. The TIB Molbiol produces. As Landts Corona Test seemed to be the middle of January, he sent six tubes with a delivery to Hong Kong for the pharmaceutical company Roche, as well as the health authority of Taiwan. Unquestioned and untested. The Info: Try on-the-spot, guaranteed to work. The instruction leaflet was not yet finished, and was afterwards e-mailed. The Test worked.

Meanwhile, other companies have developed worldwide Tests. "Because I'm happy. We can't do this alone, for the world,“ says Landt, with a view to the competition.

Why TIB was the first? He will work with a number of virologists, says Landt. You speculated on the basis of the reported symptoms of the disease early on, a Corona-Virus. As the gene sequence was known, developed in just a few days artificial positive controls for the Test, because in Europe you couldn't get the Virus – they are small, but flexible. "To think, you need an hour," expects Landt. Then it goes to the implementation in the laboratory. This is in less than 24 hours. In the meantime optimized the Test already.

"Nevertheless, we must pay attention to the mutations. Then we need to adjust the Test. It is an ongoing battle against Corona,“ he points out. Also it is good that several companies sell Tests: Each recognize a different part of the Virus. So mutations are catch better, says Landt.

In February, tripled its turnover of eighth of otherwise 1.5 to 4.5 million euros. "But the money wasn't a Motivation. Financially, we have had, as we have written in the last 30 years always in the black. But we see it as our responsibility. And it's so much fun,“ says the biochemist. "Compliments is a huge Motivation." The financial weak countries to get the Tests free, the WHO at half the price.

Dangerous, if the Virus is not spreading in Africa, because the health systems were often. The German authorities, he criticized: "It is fatal, that in a piecemeal way, the risk is screwed to the top. That seems far-fetched.“ At the latest, as it is in Italy went off, it would need to be of a serious threat to to speak. "The danger is underestimated," says Landt.

A vaccine still need at least half a year to a year, until he was back on the market, he suspects. Therefore, the most important, containing the Virus was now. "If the Virus finds any new victims, it runs dead. Else can have terrible consequences,“ says Landt, and is reminiscent of the Spanish flu, which broke out at the end of the First world war, and millions away. He finds that, for example, cinemas,theatres and sporting events were closed, all the places where people from different villages meet.

The risk of Infection in schools, he estimates low, since there is always the same people met. He also has a contingency plan: "1,000 Infected in Berlin, I'll hire my staff." It was safer than the public transport. In the case of a Corona case in the company he would have to conclude: The Tests would be "contaminated" – the test result will always be false-positive.

150.000 Tests are currently the day. The more you could produce, but the capacity to Einzutüten were missing, so Landt. An Arab and an African Ambassador had even come by personally to get the deliveries faster in their home countries.

In the packing room store but also for various other Tests, which produces the company away from the Corona: Influenza, for flu, Salmonella, and Norovirus diarrhea, bacteria with inflammation of the brain. In the course of the old posters: avian influenza in 2006, or the Sars outbreak in 2003 to hang. Also in the case of the swine flu or 2012 for MERS, he quickly had a Test on the market. His customers know what the company can. He hardly need advertising. Internet appearance: 15 years old.

Much longer the Foundation of the company is Then synthesized, he and a buddy, both doctoral students at the Berlin University of Genschnipsel and supplied the neighboring institutions. Free-of-charge. But why is the Material not sell? "Without a business plan we have purchased two then the first machine," he recalls. In three months you had the money for the first machine. Then plundered Landts "Partner" of the Fund. "It was a bloody end. I had to buy him half the company.“ In 1994, he started at zero. "My doctor I made then never", shrugs he shoulders.

"As a Partner of a large manufacturer of mini-globalized we are," says the managing Director. Year after year they grew a little. But he has no growth target. To "always grow a disease of our society. The only need to cancer,“ he says. In order to create the current work, he has set but three new employees and many students. More to follow.

shortly before 10 puff the lab machines. The streets are deserted. Constanze Landt sitting in the office. Also Olfert Landt go back to work. For sure yet until midnight.

Date Of Update: 12 March 2020, 19:00

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