While IDT currently holds around 40 percent of the US oligo market, it is a relative newcomer to the European scene.
IDT’s acquisition of Belgian manufacturer RNA-TEC in 2006 marked the company’s arrival in Europe and bolstered its product offerings in large-scale RNA synthesis and purification, particularly in the Dicer-substrate RNAi field.
The company quickly established its wholly-owned subsidiary, IDT BVBA, and almost immediately started to expand its production facility in Leuven, Belgium which now measures 2000 m sq.
This latest expansion follows the company’s announcement in May that it had opened its new Clinical & Commercial manufacturing (CCM) business unit in Coralville, Iowa, dedicated to manufacturing oligos for use in diagnostic products. The CCM unit is ISO 13485:2003 certified for supply of in vitro diagnostic components and analyte specific reagents.
According to Rick McConahay, European operations manager for IDT, the Leuven facility is focused on producing those oligos where the turnaround time is crucial, such as the oligomers used for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) studies.
The new facility has enabled the company to expand its SameDay Oligo Service to European customers, so that an order for an unmodified standard oligo received before midday can be dispatched the same day and arrive in the researcher’s hands before midday the next day.
IDT was determined that the new facility would open without any glitches, so the company adapted the operation of its nightshift in Iowa to fit the needs of European researchers.
“With over 20 employees and the capability to produce around 4000 oligos daily at our European facility, we are now able to provide our customers with a very fast service, excellent support, and a broader range of IDT products - all from right here in Europe,” said Bonnie Barney, vice president of European sales and marketing for IDT.
“While growing our manufacturing capacity, we have also expanded our direct sales force in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Benelux countries, along with expanding our representation through distributors in Spain, Italy, Norway, Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Israel and South Africa.”
According to Barney, the speed of service is one characteristic that helps set IDT apart from its competitors, as well as the fact that every oligo is routinely shipped with its mass spectra to prove its identity.
The company’s focus on fast turnaround stems from its beginnings as a spin-out from the University of Iowa and a commitment to supply academic researchers with high quality, affordable oligos.
One way that IDT is helping researchers order oligos faster is the OligoCard, which works like a prepay phone card and can be used online to order securely, direct from the IDT website, eliminating delays due to multi-step internal order processes.