Eurofins opens lab and updates on 2015 milestones

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Eurofins Genomics opens facility in Kentucky and FY results

Related tags Food testing Food safety Laboratory

Eurofins Microbiology has opened an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory in Louisville, Kentucky.

The laboratory offers testing services to rapidly quantify, detect, or identify pathogenic, spoilage, and probiotic microorganisms.

It will also house food and microbiology testing, which Eurofins said should ‘foster diversity and synergy’ between scientific applications of molecular testing.

The site will include up to 110 employees, including lab technicians, chemists and biologists.

The 65,800 ft2 (6,113 m2) facility functions as the central genomics laboratory in North America, focusing on custom production of DNA and RNA oligonucleotides synthetic gene synthesis, and genomics services including DNA sequencing, synthetic biology and next generation sequencing (NGS).

Eurofins selected Gray Construction to provide design-build services for the facility, which houses both laboratories.  

Quality and reliability boost

Eurofins will introduce synthesis technology in the facility, which it said will lead to increased quality and reliability in its oligonucleotides production capabilities.

Since 2005, Eurofins has invested over $800m to add or modernize over 350,000m2 of laboratory surface to its network, and plans to add another 120,000m2 by the end of 2017.

The microbiology laboratory is home to the ExpressMicro service which the firm said reduces turnaround time of results by up to eight hours over competing laboratories.

Mehgan Styke, business unit manager of Eurofins Microbiology in Louisville, said the service enables it to provide customers a quick time to result without compromising method or process quality.

eurofins kentucky
Eurofins Kentucky Lab

“As the time waiting to release product or review results often impacts food production schedules and the bottom-line; it is exciting to have both a local and nationwide food safety and testing solution that incorporates customized logistics and high quality testing solutions via Eurofins ExpressMicro,”​ she said.

Dr Gilles Martin, Eurofins Scientific CEO, said: “Our ambition is to make it the most modern and innovative facility of its kind in the world. This state-of-the-art laboratory reflects the group’s commitment to quality, innovation, and to contributing to the advancement of scientific research and health sciences around the globe.”

Quality standards are supported by internationally recognized certifications such as ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485: 2003 and an FDA certification for GMP production.

Greg Fisher, mayor of Louisville, said Eurofins is a great example of the type of company the city wants to attract.

“A modern, innovative company that delivers, bringing together two of our five main economic development clusters – logistics, and lifelong wellness and aging care. Our city’s central location, with world-class logistics, will help Eurofins get their products in, tested and returned more efficiently than anywhere else.”

Food testing outlook by region

While announcing its 2015 results, Eurofins said the US now makes up a third of group revenues.

It completed 21 acquisitions in 2015 to strengthen its leadership in existing markets or enter new segments.

The firm said growth in the food testing business continues to be robust, supported by manufacturers’ and retailers’ ever-increasing efforts to increase safety of their products, as well as regulatory developments to ensure consumer safety by improving transparency and increasing accountability in the supply chain.

Technological innovations such as new tests enabled by genome sequencing, provide additional support, as well as additional volume for testing.

Incidents of fatal food contamination, as well as product recalls continue to highlight the need for more effective testing, it added.

“Positive developments in the US food testing market, driven by regulatory developments as the FDA moves closer to partial implementation of the FSMA in late 2016-early 2017, as well as ongoing food contamination scandals, are reflected in the high single-digit organic growth generated by the group’s US food testing business,”​ said Eurofins.

In France, Eurofins’ second largest market bringing-in 19% of total sales, revenues increased 63.2% to €369.6m on organic growth.

The French food testing business performed strongly on the back of market share gains and contract wins such as the partnership with SODEXO. Eurofins has also been selected by the National Food Safety Agency (ANSES) to conduct nutritional analysis for the Table Ciqual.

Revenue contribution from Germany, which makes up 12.8% of revenues, was €250.4m in 2015, as acceleration in the second half of the year resulted in ca. 6% organic growth for the full year.

Growth acceleration in food microbiology and launch of new tests resulted in volume ramp-up in Q3 and Q4, compensating for the slower start of the year.

Revenues from the Nordic region, which generated 8.4% of total revenues, grew to €163.3m. The food and environment businesses in the Benelux generated revenues of €158.1m, up 9.6% versus 2014.

In the UK & Ireland, revenues grew 23.6% to €96.2m on organic growth and positive currency impact of 8.5%. The strong performance of the food and pharma testing businesses offset some weakness in environment testing.

Eurofins’ continues to expand in emerging markets and the Asia Pacific region, where revenues increased 29.6% to €269.2m on strong organic growth and selective acquisitions.  

Laboratory capacity

In Hong Kong, the group opened a lab to perform time-sensitive bacteriology tests, which it said is expected to increase penetration of the local food testing market. Eurofins is also expanding its main Chinese food testing lab in Suzhou, to support the growth in testing.

In India, Eurofins opened a food testing lab in New Delhi, the second in the country. The group also opened a lab in Coimbatore, in Southern India, housing its agrosciences expertise to support the country’s vast agricultural services sector.

In France, Eurofins launched six start-up labs in 2015, taking the group’s coverage to 13 satellite laboratories, complementing the large, regional central lab for water testing in Maxéville.

Eurofins is shifting several multi-building or multi-location labs in Germany into a large, single-site campus in Hamburg.

The group is also consolidating in the Benelux to bring several small labs into two large sites in The Netherlands. In Sweden, it is combining two labs into one larger site in Uppsala.

Between 2016 and 2017, the group has plans for another 120,000m2 of modern lab surface, of which over 75,000m2 is expected to come on stream in 2016.

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