Working at NecstGen: Sydney Langerak

Working at NecstGen: Sydney Langerak

NecstGen is proud to have a state-of-the-art facility resulting from dedication and effort of our colleagues. Sydney Langerak, the Maintenance Technician overseeing Facility and Maintenance, played a pivotal role in shaping the company and its facilities. Today, he diligently maintains the equipment and pristine cleanrooms and shares his experiences at NecstGen.

A Journey of Technical Excellence

Sydney Langerak has a background in mechanical installations and maintenance, specifically in HVAC systems. He has 14 years of experience at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), where he had many diverse responsibilities. Subsequently, Sydney was asked to join NecstGen to oversee the construction and set up maintenance.

“The opportunity at NecstGen came up, and it was an exciting challenge because I could be involved in the project from start to finish and also set up the maintenance. That’s unique because usually, you build something and then have to hand the project over to another department. Here, we do everything ourselves, which makes it special and one of the reasons I joined.” – Sydney Langerak, Maintenance Technician at NecstGen.

Inception to Completion: A Remarkable Journey

When NecstGen found a suitable place to build their cleanrooms, they had to strip down the third and fourth floors completely. Even some walls and floors were dismantled to allow for building and large equipment placement. Sydney was closely involved in the construction of the cleanrooms, working alongside Melissa van Pel, who handled the facility design. Both Sydney and Melissa were part of the team managing the consultants, engineers, and builders from outside organisations.

“I work with a fantastic team. In our Facility & Services department, I have two direct colleagues, and we are all responsible for the technical aspects. The Head of our department oversees all areas, including cleaning, inventory, and maintenance. Ronald van Tuijl and I focus on maintaining all in-house installations and ensuring they function properly. We were included in the construction process and witnessed it day by day.” –Sydney Langerak, Maintenance Technician at NecstGen.

A Day in the Life: Maintaining Excellence

A typical workday for Sydney begins at 7 a.m. and generally concludes around 4:30 p.m. Upon arriving at the workplace, he activates the building automation system to check for any overnight issues. If any concerns are identified, they are promptly addressed. A more normal day starts when the team turns on their computers and manages meetings and tasks. Each day presents unique challenges, and in the event of a malfunction, it can necessitate several hours to rectify. Furthermore, the team is constantly optimising maintenance procedures there is always room for improvement! The daily routine also involves monitoring the installations for any unusual occurrences and making necessary adjustments to ensure the facility’s smooth operation.

“Our Facility and Services department is open to helping everyone and willing to do whatever it takes. We are always there for each other, day, and night. Even after work hours, we are always available if needed. We back each other up, and it’s a mutually supportive environment. We are open, honest, and transparent, which, I believe, is the most effective way to work.” – Sydney Langerak, Maintenance Technician at NecstGen.

The Future at NecstGen: Opportunities Await

When considering career options at NecstGen, you can’t help but feel excitement as one envisions a future filled with growth and development. Opportunities for ongoing training and the potential to grow with the company promise a dynamic career path.

We have a dynamic culture and the door of our CEO and senior management is always open. There are many opportunities at NecstGen to contribute. That makes my work interesting and, at the same time, enables me to grow in my career.” – Sydney Langerak, Maintenance Technician at NecstGen.

Working at NecstGen: Marten Visser

Working at NecstGen: Marten Visser

We explore the field of Cell Therapy with an expert from NecstGen, a Non-Profit Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) for Cell and Gene Therapies. While examining the complex and innovative work that characterises the company’s activities, we also gain insights into what makes working at NecstGen an exceptional experience in cellular medicine. We spoke with Marten Visser, Cell Therapy Specialist, about his work at NecstGen.

Cell Therapy Specialist

Marten Visser joined the company two years ago and has played a significant role ever since. He has extensive experience in T-cell therapy development and manufacture to treat melanoma and ovarian carcinoma. He specialises in cleanroom operation and translational development to create treatments and deepen the field’s understanding.

“I have experience in all parts of the process, from isolating T-cells from patient material to final formulation all under GMP procedures. Because of my expertise, I can contribute to customer projects in many ways.” –  Marten Visser, Cell Therapy Specialist at NecstGen.

When Marten was ready for a new challenge, NecstGen crossed his path. From the beginning, Marten witnessed and contributed to the company’s growth in multiple ways. His role at NecstGen proved the ideal opportunity to apply his knowledge in a broader context. So, in addition to his work in the NecstGen development laboratories, he was also closely involved in setting-up general GMP procedures and processes.

“I felt I was ready for something new. I wanted to use the knowledge I have gained in my previous role, and when I saw the available position at NecstGen, there was a good match. At that time the cleanrooms were being constructed. There were cables and construction workers everywhere. When I started, they had just begun contouring the cleanrooms on the third floor. Everything had to be built from scratch, and I had the opportunity to actively contribute to this.” – Marten Visser, Cell Therapy Specialist at NecstGen.

A dynamic workday

A workday at NecstGen is dynamic and open. Being a smaller company there are diverse responsibilities offering scope for growth and development in new areas. For example, when the cleanrooms were still under construction, many workdays revolved around creating processes, procedures and the corresponding documentation. Customer projects are more prominent now, resulting in many days of conducting experiments and working hands-on in the laboratory. Of course, there is also plenty of time dedicated to data analysis, discussion, and learning. On some days, meetings take precedence over other routine tasks. The diverse functions at NecstGen offer many opportunities for growth and learning.

“At NecstGen everyone is aligned with our mission to translate research programs into life-saving treatments. As a company, we are flexible and have the expertise and the commitment to assist customers in translating their processes into GMP procedures and clinical production.” Marten Visser, Cell Therapy Specialist at NecstGen.

All in all, working as a Cell Therapy Specialist at NecstGen comes with many opportunities. Each day may be different, from working in the laboratories to writing GMP documentation. Close collaboration with colleagues and customers is crucial to their and NecstGen’s success. Working at NecstGen enables us to develop as professionals in many ways, all while making a difference to the world by contributing to novel Cell- and Gene Therapies.

Working at NecstGen: Warda Cardozo

Working at NecstGen: Warda Cardozo

NecstGen is a Non-Profit Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation focused on enabling novel Cell and Gene Therapies. The state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the Leiden Bio Science Park in the Netherlands offers Cell Therapy, Viral Vector development, and manufacturing solutions for clinical researchers and industry to facilitate breakthroughs and innovation in healthcare.

We asked Warda Cardozo, Head of HR what it’s like to work at NecstGen and how cooperation is one of the key drivers in offering development support and GMP production of Cell and Gene Therapies.

The Team at NecstGen

NecstGen is a small company, powered by highly skilled professionals with big ambitions. The company has teams for Cell Therapy and Viral Vector. Experts within the Quality department provide Quality Assurance and Quality Control support. The Facilities & Services team underpins these divisions and consistently demonstrates operational excellence. In addition, the indispensable contributions of our business support divisions, including Business Development, Finance, and Human Resources, further bolster the enterprise.

At NecstGen, the flat hierarchy structure fosters an approachable, inclusive, and ‘decision making by consensus’ style environment. That was particularly evident when the company obtained its GMP Manufacturing License last year.

‘During this critical period, I witnessed consistent dedication from each team member, with everyone collectively putting forth their utmost effort when it mattered most.’ – Warda Cardozo, Head of HR.

All employees of NecstGen display admirable dedication and diligence, which serves as a testament to the company’s strong work ethic. NecstGen values transparency and openness as part of its culture,reflected in various practices. For instance, the company holds regular meetings that involve the entire workforce to discuss progress and future plans.

‘Our team comprises individuals from various nationalities, resulting in a diverse and inclusive environment at NecstGen. Inclusivity is paramount in fostering a workspace where we can tackle challenges from different perspectives. This diversity allows us to cater to our client’s needs with the highest accuracy.’ – Warda Cardozo, Head of HR.

Personal development

NecstGen prioritises professional development within its organisational culture. Their mission is to accelerate Cell and Gene Therapies to patients. However, NecstGen also emphasises taking care of colleagues by offering personalised development plans that are meticulously designed to nurture growth opportunities within their current roles and career path.

‘As part of our commitment to individual growth, this year all employees were given the opportunity to participate in language courses focusing on either English or Dutch to enhance their communication proficiencies.’ – Warda Cardozo, Head of HR.

Additionally, NecstGen offers an internship program that promotes educational and professional growth. As active contributors to project initiatives, interns receive excellent support from their peers, supervisors, and the company. Groups of students seeking to understand the complexities of working with Cell and Gene Therapies are routinely welcomed by NecstGen, as they recognise the importance of nurturing and educating the next generation of potential employees in this field.

Working at NecstGen

At NecstGen, being an exemplary colleague means embodying the company’s core values, which place teamwork to cultivate an open and collaborative culture at the forefront. A flexible and cooperative mindset is essential for navigating the dynamic work environment. NecstGen highly values these qualities, which are crucial for colleague and company success.

Additionally, possessing solid expertise in the relevant field is considered paramount. Throughout the hiring procedure, applicants are asked to showcase their skills by preparing and presenting a business case which is a fundamental component of our evaluation case study.

‘At NecstGen, we prioritize identifying individuals who are not only qualified but are also passionate and unwaveringly dedicated to our mission to bring these innovative therapies faster to patients. We seek colleagues who share our firm commitment to this cause and value these qualities greatly.’ Warda Cardozo, Head of HR

At NecstGen, the working culture is vital to success. The open and collaborative environment gives space to contribute to the Regenerative Medicine ecosystem and facilitate the translation of promising novel Cell and Gene Therapies.

Are you looking for a position within NecstGen? Find current openings here.

Cell Therapy Manufacturing & Development

Viral Vector Manufacturing & Development

Cleanroom Rental