Full Quotes – Response to COVID-19
Paul A. Jensen, Ph.D., lead for infection control and biosafety at the CDC
“With the scale up of laboratory testing for COVID-19, safe laboratory space is critical. Some tests, such as FDA’s recent emergency use authorization of the GeneXpert SARS-CoV-2 test for use in high- and moderate-complexity CLIA-certified laboratories as well as certain patient care settings, need to be performed in a minimum of BSL-1 work space, and often BSL-2 work space to ensure proper safety of the laboratory staff. Other tests, may require BSL-2 facilities. Obviously, these laboratories would not be used to amplify the virus. While not endorsing any particular company or product, rapidly deployable, complete laboratories will greatly enhance the US response to testing for COVID-19.”
Viji Vijayan, Associate Dean – Research Operations, Safety and Central Procurement, Duke-NUS
“Duke-NUS was one of the first few laboratories in the world to culture the SARS-CoV-2 and since then we have been working on various aspects of the outbreak. We were the first research team working with the government of Singapore to establish a link between two COVID-19 clusters using serological testing.”
Maureen Ellis, Executive Director, IFBA
“Building laboratory infrastructure that is highly dependent on engineering controls and technology presents a challenge in many countries where construction and maintenance costs are prohibitive. The International Federation of Biosafety Association’s collaboration with Germfree and other private industry partners on sustainable design approaches will effectively lead to facilities that are relevant to local circumstances, tailored to actual risks, and more cost-effective to maintain over the longer term.”
Tom Harper, VP of Sales, Marketing & Business Development, Kentucky Trailer
“We clearly understand the importance of Germfree’s mobile labs in the national response to COVID-19. Early on, we worked with Germfree to put a solid plan in place to avert disruptions and prioritize any critical production demands. With prompt, strategic planning and the right partnership, it is possible to keep a resilient supply chain even during these unprecedented circumstances. “
Keith Landy, CEO, Germfree
“Everything that Germfree has done over the last 20 years has prepared us to address events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Going back to before 9/11, Germfree was working with the US Army in developing equipment and mobile facilities that could address the threat of a biological weapons attack. At that time we created ruggedized gloveboxes to put into the back of vans and trucks. Over time, we began manufacturing complete BSL-2 and BSL-3 labs in mobile and modular platforms in order to serve public health initiatives throughout the world. The experience that we gained over those years directly lead to the development of similar facilities for hospital pharmacy and pharmaceutical applications.
Now, as the world has been thrust into this awful situation, I feel that Germfree, as a company, is uniquely capable of delivering solutions for researchers, pharmacists and first responders. We have a portfolio of products and facilities that can help healthcare providers meet increased demand, both for laboratory space to run tests, and cleanroom space to compound medications. Additionally, we can provide mobile and rapidly deployable cleanroom space for vaccine production, which will become invaluable once the medicine is available.
I am proud to be part of a company that has always stayed focused on innovation. Because of our commitment to always looking forward, we are now in a position to help fight back against the largest public health crisis in modern history.”
Jeff Serle, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Germfree
“Germfree has a long history of biocontainment expertise. This experience, combined with our knowledge of the pharmacy and pharmaceutical industries, allows us to address the needs of a great variety of healthcare workers. Because we understand our industry, as well as the specific needs of our end users, we are able to make things right the first time.”
“Because of the nature of the tests required to diagnose COVID-19, it is often necessary to utilize a BSL-2 (Biosafety Level 2) laboratory. These specialized spaces are often small to begin with, and are rare in smaller and rural healthcare systems. These are complex facilities that must be built to stringent regulations and standards before being certified by a third party…it requires a great deal of expertise to put these into a mobile platform.
“I’ve seen other manufacturers, from semi-related businesses, try to enter this market without having done the hard work to gain the necessary knowledge and experience. A lot of them have no references or past customers to speak of. If they just show you a 3D rendering model it only shows that they have not done it and that they haven’t figured it out yet.”
Brennen Kozlowski, Vice President of Operations, Germfree
“We needed to reorganize our leadership in order to make sure that we were operating as efficiently as possible. This has worked out well, because it has allowed us to better utilize our workforce and put people in roles that cater to their strengths. The additional training and facility upgrades that we have added recently have also been a huge factor in developing an efficient workflow.”
“Our workforce is well-trained and incredibly versatile, which allowed us to quickly transition our production focus over to the biosafety labs. We have a critical infrastructure designation from the Department of Homeland Security that we take very seriously. We have spent years strengthening our relationships with vendors to make sure that our supply chain would not be disrupted during a moment like this.”
Eric Wettlaufer, Service Manager, Germfree
“The importance of having an established and experienced service team in place is absolutely crucial for maintaining the complexities of a laboratory and guaranteeing continued uninterrupted performance.
Germfree has implemented all of the necessary tools and team members to respond quickly and efficiently to any customer crises 24/7 365 with an industry leading response time of just minutes after receiving an inquiry or concern. Germfree’s remote support for the laboratory’s environmental systems is hands down the best in the industry, with the ability to resolve problems and adjust the laboratory’s performance remotely from anywhere in the world by any of our service team members. Germfree has a dedicated email support system specifically for this feature.”
Sal Golfo, Supply Chain Manager, Germfree
“I began reaching out to our suppliers a few weeks back, when all of this was just getting underway in the United States. Some of our suppliers, specifically those in states with mandatory lockdowns, needed paperwork from us to prove that they were vital to an essential business in order for them to stay open.”
“There have also been refreshing aspects to the current situation that speak volumes about the vendor relationships that we have developed over the years. Some key vendors have been proactive in reaching out to see how they can help. One great example is Kentucky Trailer, a key provider in the manufacture of our 53’ Mobile Biocontainment Labs, currently being deployed for the pandemic response.”