- Based in the south of Rennes, the NG Biotech company has seen its activity take off since the start of the pandemic.
- After having produced serological tests, it now markets antigenic self-tests on nasal samples.
- She is also working on a vaccine follow-up test.
At NG Biotech, it’s all about responsiveness since the start of the health crisis. Which is good for a company specializing in rapid medical tests. Founded in 2012 in Guipry-Messac in the south of Rennes, the company has experienced quite a boost for a little over a year. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit the planet, it operated in start-up mode with around thirty employees and marketed antibiotic resistance tests and urine pregnancy tests indicating the week of conception of the future baby.
Last spring, the Covid-19 turned its core business upside down. “Our historical activities now weigh only for a third”, recognizes Milovan Stankov-Pugès, CEO of NG Biotech. In April 2020, the Breton company thus distinguished itself by marketing an “ultra-rapid” serological test allowing, from a single drop of blood, to know whether the patient has been in contact with the virus. Among the first global players to be drawn, the company had collapsed under orders, forcing it to build a second construction site. “We were up to 160 employees at the time of the peak in July,” said its CEO.
Pending CE marking for its antigenic self-tests
Since then, the strategy to curb the pandemic has continued to evolve as research advances and PCR and antigen tests have gradually replaced serological tests. “Some countries in Africa or Latin America are still ordering us, but these tests have not really found their place on the market,” recognizes Milovan Stankov-Pugès.
NG Biotech, which now employs 120 people, threw itself into the global race for antigen testing. Since April, it has been marketing, in partnership with Boiron laboratories, antigenic self-tests on nasal samples in French pharmacies. “We are waiting to obtain the CE mark to be able to market our kits throughout Europe”, indicates the CEO.
A vaccine follow-up test in the boxes
In the meantime, the two production sites of the company still power with 1.5 million tests that come out of the workshops each month. “We are able to produce four and then ten million per month, we are ready to respond to the market,” assures the company manager, who took advantage of the France Relance plan to relocate the production of his parts to Morbihan. in plastic.
As the vaccination progresses, the company also has a new vaccine follow-up test in the pipeline to check whether the body has developed neutralizing antibodies after injecting the two doses of the vaccine. “It is under development but we are waiting for the recommendations of the health authorities to market it”, details Milovan Stankov-Pugès, confident in the future of his company. “Even when the pandemic has passed, we will still need tests to break the chain of contamination and detect the presence of antibodies. “