Life Science Facilities & Equipment Where Needed
Imagine a virus threatening the entire planet and a small group of engineers and scientists trying to contain it with the rapid deployment of high-tech products. It sounds like an intense Hollywood movie script, but that scenario has become just a day in the life of Germfree Laboratories, Inc.
Germfree Laboratories, Inc., founded in Miami in 1962, is a specialty equipment manufacturer serving healthcare, bio-containment and biopharmaceutical markets. The company moved to Ormond Beach, Florida, 20 years ago for quality-of-life reasons. Today its highly skilled workforce occupies a 175,000-square-foot, air-conditioned complex in Ormond Beach, along with a service office in Singapore and a manufacturing partner in Ireland to better serve the global Life Sciences Industry.
To say its work has never been more important would be an understatement. The company engineers and manufactures products that support vital medical research and health care delivery, and its products have literally been on the front lines during the COVID-19 battle. Among its products:
- Podular biocontainment cleanrooms
- Mobile biocontainment cleanrooms
- Biological safety cabinets (Class II and III)
- Laminar flow hoods
- AirV2 commercial air filtration systems
- Custom biocontainment and cleanroom equipment
These and many other Germfree products are used in hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, pharmaceutical production and military outposts that could be located anywhere in the world.
“We started out just serving domestic clients, but today we sell our products globally,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Kyle. “Our international business varies depending on public health needs, global factors and market fluctuation, but exports can represent as much as 70% of our sales volume in a given year. Our customers are global institutions and companies working on global issues. Accordingly, Germfree is a global enterprise and our people tend to have a lot of stamps in their passports.”
When asked how Germfree developed its global reputation, Kyle said: “We are an expert-to-expert business. We work with many of the world’s leading infectious disease and pharmaceutical development experts on the research, development and manufacturing of cures. Partners and customers alike know we care about their needs and the health of those benefiting from work done using Germfree equipment and labs. Our products are operational in remote corners of the world and contribute to solving complex threats to global health.”
For example, the laboratory that first isolated the coronavirus to get the genetic material out to the world for vaccine development is a Germfree lab built locally and installed in Singapore. And one of the high-profile antibody treatments in the fight to contain the COVID-19 virus was developed in one of Germfree’s cleanroom trailers last year.
Quality control and certification are central to the Germfree culture. The company’s products are certified by such entities as National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Controlled Environment Testing Association (CETA) certifiers for laboratories installed globally.
“Germfree has done a brilliant job serving both advanced as well as lesser-developed nations that have a need for our products,” said Kyle.
Wherever its products are put into service, Germfree handles all training with its own personnel, backed by its service team.
To get its products where they need to be, Germfree works with ground transporters, freight forwarders, deep water ports such as JAXPORT in Jacksonville and the Port of Miami.
“For this reason, it’s great to be located on the eastern seaboard,” said Kyle.
As a manufacturer of some pretty large products, Germfree employs crating and shipping services to ensure proper packaging and protection from the elements to ensure successful end-to-end delivery. The company also anticipates shipping and handling logistics beginning with the design of its products. Germfree clients decide where its products are to be received and put into service, with some destinations and service locations being more challenging than others.
Global health is a mission, according to Kyle. “But with ever-increasing expertise and a talented team, we are proud to be a partner to our clients for research, disease surveillance and global health security.”
For more information about Germfree Laboratories, Inc., visit www.Germfree.com.
Volusia County Economic Development Quarterly
Second Quarter 2021
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