May 26, 2020

BioGX expands COVID-19 test kit operations

MedTech firm BioGX needed more space in Amsterdam to answer the global demand for their coronavirus test kits. Various parties worked fast to make it happen at Amsterdam Science Park.

A perfect fit

BioGX originally came to Amsterdam Science Park in 2017 to set up a lab and offices to supply tests to all markets outside of the US. “It was the perfect fit for us,” says Dr Shazi Iqbal, CEO of the American molecular diagnostics company.

The company develops tests that identify infectious diseases. Serving over 100 countries, its technology has even travelled to outer space to be used in immunity research. BioGX tests are popular since they are easy-to-use and universal. That is, they can be carried out on any available molecular testing instrumentation.

Corona rising

When news of the coronavirus began coming out of China in January, the company began working on an initial test design. By the time the virus hit Italy, the company could hit the road running. Within two weeks, they launched the CE-IVD test in Europe and partnered with BD for US FDA Emergency Use Authorization. The company needed extra space to scale production and distribution – and fast.

But for Matrix Innovation Center, who rent all offices and lab facilities at Amsterdam Science Park, this was tricky: the park is always at 100% occupancy. “Usually it’s just the company that reaches out to me when they need more – or less – space,” says Raymond Hogerwerf, Matrix IC’s real estate account manager. “But now I was also hearing from amsterdam inbusiness about helping. And that got me thinking…”

Dr. Shazi Iqbal, CEO BioGX “In these radical times, all parties involved all came together to support us in our COVID-19 fight ”

A solution for all

“Everyone came together very quickly to help,” says Dr Iqbal. “Raymond Hogerwerf was quick to think on his feet and jumped right in. In these radical times, all parties involved all came together to support us in our COVID-19 fight.”Within days, there was a solution. With some creative shifting around of space, BioGX could move in immediately. From a few thousand tests daily, the company is now producing a minimum of 100,000. And the numbers continue rising.

Hogerwerf expects to do more of this sort of juggling in the future but remains unsure what the “new normal” will mean for Matrix IC. But he’s confident that they’ll remain at 100% occupancy. “Right now, we’re just working hard to make sure our renters can work in the safest environment possible.”

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Leo Le Duc

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