Jeff Fischer, President at Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics — Passing the Test : How this small company made a big difference in the fight against COVID-19
Testing the population is a vital step in the pursuit of disease control. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the biotech industry was challenged to rapidly adapt and produce safe, effective testing at an almost unimaginable scale, businesses were forced to adapt and re-think the way diagnostic tests are designed, distributed, and safely conducted in order to keep up with demand.
Today's guest is Jeff Fischer. Jeff is the co-founder and president of Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics LLC, an industry leading biotechnology company that has been on the frontlines of the battle with COVID-19. From 2007 to 2017, Jeff served as CFO of Longhorn. Jeff has previous experience in the biotech industry as an executive VP and CFO, and he is also a former infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps.
In this episode, Jeff and I discuss Longhorn's innovative FDA-approved PrimeStore Molecular Transport Medium -- a product that has changed the way viruses are tested, how seeking FDA approval helped with mass rollout in a time of crisis, and how Longhorn found an unusual solution to a shortage of essential supplies.
- Jeff discusses his motivation to start a company focused on diagnostic tools to address what he saw as a coming influenza pandemic (03:00 )
- How life in the Marine Corps influenced Jeff's understanding of the world and his work (04:03 )
- What is PrimeStore Molecular Transport Medium? (05:35 )
- How Longhorn adapted to increased demand during the pandemic (10:10 )
- How the Coca-Cola Bottling Group became the solution to test tube supply chain issues during the pandemic (13:43 )
- Jeff discusses Longhorn's market opportunity and long term avenues for growth (15:47 )
- Jeff explains the agility and independence afforded to Longhorn by not being a public company (17:29 )
- What is the concept of "one health," and how will it change the way we think about the health of humans and the planet (19:10 )
- Is a universal influenza vaccine just around the corner? (21:24 )
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