Biomin and Erber Group support COVID-19 testing effort at university clinic

calendar icon 4 June 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

Erber Group, a leading group of companies in the field of food and feed safety, has provided technical and scientific support to expand COVID-19 testing in conjunction with the University Medical Clinic in Tulln, Austria.

When the number of coronavirus cases in Austria rose in mid-March, the need for additional testing capacity arose. The Erber Group was called on to bolster the testing capacity of hospitals in the area.

Erber Group and several of its divisions (which include Biomin, Romer Labs, Sanphar and EFB) conduct research in Tulln, within walking distance of the University Medical Clinic. Discussions of a potential collaboration took place almost immediately.

Researchers at Erber Group use polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a methodology routinely used in molecular biology, as one of many biotech tools to develop novel solutions for a safer, more sustainable food system. PCR testing is also used to test for coronavirus.

Researchers standing around a computer screen
[Left to right] Biomin Scientists Dr Martin Siller and Dr Sebastian Fruhauf, Biomin Research Team Leader Molecular Biology Dr Wulf-Dieter Moll and Ulrike Koschitz (Deputy Laboratory Director, Universitätsklinikum Tulln) at the Biomin Research Centre.

© Biomin

After conception and validation of the test system, all described by standard operating procedures (SOPs) in compliance with quality standards, trial operation began. Results and a further agreement were coordinated with the governmental health agency in Lower Austria.

Since then, scientists and researchers at the Erber Group research facilities in Tulln have provided time, resources and know-how for PCR testing to conduct nearly 1500 tests for COVID-19 to date. This activity took place all while Erber Group employees kept research and development activities running by introducing added health and safety measures in the workplace.

In a press statement (in German), the clinic’s management thanked the “competent and neighbourly help” of Erber Group employees for their support.

“We are passionate about science. It’s a core part of our organisation. Each day we engage our mental abilities and resources to solve customer problems and improve the sustainability and safety of the farm-to-fork food chain. So it’s only natural that we felt compelled to get involved,” explained Dr Eva Maria Binder, Executive Board Member of Erber Group and Managing Director of EFB.

“We are grateful for the chance to work with the University Clinic staff and management to support the local community,” commented Franz Waxenecker, Managing Director of Biomin.

“It is important to acknowledge the efforts and dedication of the Biomin and Erber team. In the face of a pandemic they adapted to new ways of working and living, and also were able to contribute to the community,” added Mr Waxenecker.

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