By order of the customer
The work of a service provider poses particular challenges for research oriented companies in Adlershof. One specialist in contract research for pharmaceutical companies is ASCA GmbH, whereas ifp Institut für Produktqualität GmbH performs analyses for the food sectors.
When Wolfgang Weber founded ifp GmbH in 2004, he was pursuing the target of developing a test kit that could verify vitamins quickly and easily. When he saw that this product was not yet making money in the development stage, he supplemented his services portfolio with food analyses – to such resounding success that this business line, with about a hundred employees, is today responsible for a major part of the company’s turnover.
In addition to its head office in Lankwitz, ifp also set up an agency in Adlershof at the beginning of this year. At Magnusstrasse 11, the institute runs testing labs for nutritive values and pesticides. “In future, nutritional analyses will gain in importance when the law stipulates nutritive values on food packaging from 2016,” explained Marketing Director Tobias Hein. In addition, ifp covers nearly everything that has anything to do with the analysis of food. For instance, it can verify allergens and genetically modified organisms, examine food samples for radioactivity, and implement hygiene management systems in production facilities.
Whereas speed is often of the essence for ifp analyses, ASCA GmbH (also at Magnusstraße 11) needs a lot of staying power. “We conduct contract research for the researching pharmaceutical industry,” explained Managing Director Christine Wedler. “This means that our customers must book a particular portion of our research capacity for a defined period.” ASCA operates as a partner for the synthesis of agents in preclinical research. New development candidates are not easy to find at short notice – and it takes a further ten to twelve years before the new medicine is finally approved.
ASCA with its 32 employees has discovered a second pillar in the form of custom synthesis. For instance, the company is commissioned by medicinal institutes to synthesise an all new compound that is not listed in the catalogue. All this is no easy business in the face of growing competition from laboratories in Eastern Europe and Asia. However, Wedler and her business partner Hans Schick have long proved their staying power: the company ASCA GmbH founded in 2000 emerged from the Institute of Organic Chemistry then run by the GDR Academy of Sciences. Incidentally, Weber of ifp did prove successful with his original business idea: his test kits for vitamins and other substances are today being marketed all over the world.
by Christian Hunziker