Servier has announced the launch of a bioproduction programme at its site in Gidy. First research batches in 2019 and first clinical batches in 2020.
Today, approximately 50% of the new anticancer treatments originate from biotechnologies, and the partnerships established by Servier in this field over recent years with Macrogenics, Cellectis, Pfizer, GeNeuro, Sorrento, and also the Institut Curie, are in keeping with this trend. Through their mechanism of action, which is more targeted and more accurate than those of chemical molecules, these biopharmaceuticals allow better efficacy and reduced side effects to be achieved in given patient populations.
In order to accelerate the availability of these new treatments for patients and healthcare professionals, to better control the development process for these candidate drugs, and to be able to reduce the costs of the end products, Servier has decided to complement its industrial expertise by building a bioproduction unit at its site in Gidy, near Orléans (France).
Christian Sauveur, Vice-President in charge of Industry for Servier, states: “it is essential for our Group to control the entire drug chain, in order to improve our efficiency and to guarantee the quality of our products. Our industrial commitment in France, and worldwide, is thus strengthened”.
While waiting for the premises in Gidy to be ready to accommodate this new production, the setting-up process and the development of the group’s expertise have already started, in partnership with the University of Dublin (Ireland) and the Servier R&D teams. At the same time, work will soon begin on the fitting out of production unit 3 in Gidy, covering an area of some 3000 m2, at an estimated budget of 35 million euros. The site should be able to produce its first research batches (non GMP) during the first semester of 2019, and the first clinical batches at the beginning of 2020. In 2020, the bioproduction team should include some thirty staff.
Bioproduction: the situation in France and a commitment by the Servier Group
In recent years, France has fallen behind in its investment into bioproduction. In 2004, 90 biopharmaceuticals were available in France¹. Ten years later, in 2014, 173 biopharmaceuticals were listed².
The graphs below show the distribution of biopharmaceuticals in 2014, by type of drugs and by therapeutic area.
¹Study, LEEM Biotechnologies Committee, June 2005
Types of drugs: