ONE of the focus of our media visit to Paris was to meet the Eurofins group in France. The aim was to gain an insight of the French perspective in the input in analytical support to the global pharmaceutical industry.
Eurofins is a world leader in food, environment and pharmaceutical products testing, and the visit at its plant in Paris was an eye-opener.
It gave Malay Mail a direct view of how things are done and handled by researchers in labs, and it was not easy for a non-medic journo to grapple with the research terms.
But in the end, understanding Panadol and how it comes out of a lab has helped in giving us a clearer idea how these labs work and how much they contribute to our healthy future.
While I heard of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US and thought Eurofins would be similar to the US national public health institute, the visit was a discovery of sorts.
Eurofins is a real lab where scientists have the responsibility to study, test and analyse anything that falls under agroscience, genomics, discovery pharmacology and supporting clinical studies.
Sure, they have the latest gizmos and high-end equipment (some of which we only see in the news or in movies) but when you come into contact with the real thing, it gives you this mystifying feeling.
The questions that were burning through my brain cells include wanting to know if this is the type of place where they would carry out research and testing on viruses like the H1N1, SARS, and if would they be able to handle a “Zombie” outbreak?
Of course, now you know I am a Zombie movie fan, and I felt safe walking through the guided tour in the labs thinking that if the world outside was full of “Walking Dead”, I would be one of the survivors.
In the Zombie shows on TV, the CDC acts as the final frontier in the battle against the spread of the virus and they have a “patient zero”, who would be the first patient from whom the disease originates.
Then we have the men and women in white scrambling over the testing equipment, only to find out that they failed in isolating or identifying the culprit.
At Eurofins, it was the real deal. And the good, fun but patient Dr Gutier Decock, flanked by his managing director Antoine Balland explained to the visiting media how this stuff works, what do they do, and what really comes out of these tests and discoveries.
And the fact remained that the laboratories in today’s world play an even greater role in scientific discoveries, placing Eurofins in the centre of the discoveries that are then used by the big pharma companies across the globe.
And suddenly, we were in the midst of all these men and women in glasses, wearing their long white coats, which they threw over our shoulders for a quick tour of their testing labs. So what if I looked a tad goofy in the cloak and glasses?
At Eurofins, they are serious about their work. Today, they have the largest validated proprietary database for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) identification service in the industry through their acquisition of IDmyk.
The acquisition reinforced Eurofins’ pharmaceutical quality control offering and complements its existing capabilities in microbiological analysis.
With the acquisition, IDmyk will be able to grow further on Eurofins’ considerable expertise in the area of next-generation sequencing, which may be used for faster, more precise identification of organisms at the strain level.
In addition, IDmyk will have access to Eurofins’ wide portfolio of products and services, as well as access to the group’s clients.
This is just one example of the areas of interest of Eurofins. Another one would be its interest in the environmental research area.
According to Business Wire, Eurofins has also expanded its environment testing footprint into the industrial fluid analysis in the United States, thus representing a solid entry platform into industrial oil testing, as well as the wider market for tribology analysis.
In addition, Eurofins is one of the key emerging players in specialty clinical diagnostic testing in Europe and the USA.
Eurofins Scientific, as it is known, was founded in 1987 with four employees to market the SNIF-NMR technology, a patented analytical method used to verify the origin and purity of several types of food and beverages, and identify sophisticated fraud not detectable by other methods.
Today, with over 28,000 staff in 310 laboratories across 39 countries, Eurofins offers a portfolio of over 130,000 analytical methods for evaluating the safety, identity, composition, authenticity, origin and purity of biological substances and products, as well as for innovative clinical diagnostic.
The group objective is to provide its customers with high-quality services, accurate results on time and expert advice by its highly qualified staff.