The project involves a further 3000 square metres of facilities and an investment of over 5 million Euros
The company engages in product development projects, including the differentiation of different strains of SARS-CoV-2, viral particles for
RT-PCR and improvement of their rapid tests
Since the start of the pandemic, the productive capacity of the company has grown sixfold. In 2020, they manufactured more than 25 million PCR tests and more than 11 million rapid tests destined for over 130 countries
2020 was a turning point at Certest Biotec. In the wake of the pandemic, the company from Aragon, leader in biotechnology, has devoted all its resources to meeting market demands, investing in the development and production of tests for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. An effort which has resulted in the launch of new diagnostic tests, an increase in their production capacity and the enlargement of the plant located in San Mateo de Gállego, in Zaragoza.
The company expects to complete the construction work in the forthcoming months. This will give them 10,000 square metres of state-of-the-art facilities following an investment of over 5 million Euros. At present the company has 7000 square metres distributed between laboratories, offices, production and logistics areas.
In 2021 it has also started work on new product lines. Certest Biotec is engaged in RT-PCR projects linked to the differentiation of the different strains of SARS-CoV-2, viral particles for the validation of the diagnostic processes associated with an RT-PCR and the improvement of their rapid tests. Since the start of the pandemic, the productive capacity has grown sixfold. A leap which took place in record time and which enabled more than 25 million PCR tests and more than 11 million rapid tests to leave their facilities in 2020, destined to over 130 countries. This implied a production rate of six million RT-PCR tests/month and two million Rapid Tests/month. In addition, this growth in production has resulted in the creation of new jobs, the staff increasing from 151 to 215 people.
In Spain, collaboration between Certest Biotec and Palex Medical was a key factor for making the PCR tests and rapid antigen tests available to hospitals, private clinics and laboratories, and more than three million PCR tests for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 have been distributed.
Innovation and launch
In 2020, the company boosted their main activity based on research and the development of diagnostic techniques, assuming the greatest challenge in history to provide a response to the needs arising in the face of coronavirus.
As with the 2009 flu pandemic and the outbreak of the Zika virus in 2016, the company invested in R&D to launch new kits including the Rapid Test for the detection of antigens (results are obtained in ten minutes), or the Real Time PCR Detection Kits for identifying SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory samples from patients with signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
In the previous year, Certest Biotec invested 2,200,000 Euros in R&D, specifically in the areas of biomaterials, molecular diagnostics and immunodiagnostics for the design and development of enzymes, antibodies and antigens, among others, which are essential for the PCR and rapid antigen tests.
For Carlos Genzor “investment in R&D is and will always be a priority for our long-term business activity. A year ago”, he went on to say, “given the imminent and almost sudden increase in the demand for diagnostic kits, we were obliged to strengthen our production in record time. Crucial and risky strategic decisions combined with heavy and fast investment became necessary, while also requiring maximum involvement from all the employees”.
The commitment to innovation was supported by more investment. From March to June 2020, Certest Biotec allocated 2,200,000 Euros to equipment for increasing the production capacity of PCR and rapid antigen tests. This investment was jointly funded following the award of competitive grants from the CDTI and the Ministry of Industry to the value of 800,000 Euros.
R&D and innovation continues to form part of the company values, which have increased in value even more thanks to firm commitment to Social and Corporate Responsibility with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The company gave priority to the goals linked to health and welfare, quality education, gender equality, decent employment and economic growth, climate action and partnerships for achieving goals. As a result of this commitment, Certest Biotec received the RSA+ Seal and the RSA Award.
2020, a year which has established the bases for the future
The main milestones of the company in 2020 were defined by COVID-19. The urgent need combined with determination resulted in the launch of the first PCR kit manufactured in Spain in February 2020. This was presented at the MEDLAB Middle East Congress in Dubai, the only congress it was possible to attend due to the pandemic.
Between February and March, Certest Biotec started the production of antigens and antibodies for a rapid test. Between March and May, the company invested in and made improvements to the diagnostic kit production capacity. And in September, activity focused on promoting the rapid antigen test, the rapid tests and the PCR tests for differentiating respiratory diseases.
Throughout the year, Certest Biotec continued working on new projects with a view to the future. In the short- and medium-term, an investment is expected of almost 100 million Euros allocated to the manufacture of vaccinations against COVID-19 and other diseases using messenger RNA technology. A decisive step which will imply the creation of jobs and a new extension to equipment and facilities, making the company the largest industrial area in Spain totally engaged in biotechnology.
Certest Biotec is a European company, founded in 2002, for the development and manufacture of in vitro diagnostic tests for infectious diseases. Today, it is a global company divided into five business units, and which offers one of the widest in vitro diagnostic panels in humans.
The future of Certest Biotec is constructed on experience in the diagnosis of diseases and the sound technical knowledge it has acquired. Latest generation equipment and laboratories, combined with highly trained professionals, are the keys for guaranteeing reliable solutions for clinical diagnostics.