Montaigu-Vendée, near Nantes, France, September 15, 2021 – Clean Cells, part of the Clean Biologics group, a provider of biopharmaceutical product quality control services and manufacturer of starting materials, today announces an investment of €13M ($15.3M) for a new production facility in Montaigu-Vendée. By quadrupling its analysis and production capacity for biopharmaceuticals, the group – backed by healthcare investment fund ArchiMed – intends to play a key role in speeding up the development and time-to-market of novel treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
Clean Cells’ new laboratories, with a footprint of over 5,300 m2, will offer Europe’s largest quality control and cell bank production to companies active in the development of biopharmaceutical products. The construction of the new facility started in July 2021, and should be completed by September 2022. From summer 2022, the new facility is expected to create 80 new jobs, with opportunities available for both engineers and technicians, as well as roles in scientific, logistical, administrative and sales support.
The new site will give Clean Cells access to important additional biopharmaceutical quality control capacity, significantly decreasing time-to-market for these products in Europe. The expansion project therefore goes hand in hand with France’s strategy of returning industrial activity to French soil. An example of this strategy is the ‘Grand Défi Biomédicaments’, or ‘Great Biopharmaceuticals Challenge’ program launched by the French government at the end of 2020, aiming to create a national biopharmaceutical products industry.
By increasing the number of its production suites from five to nine, Clean Cells will be able to significantly boost its production capacity of cell banks for vaccines, therapeutic antibodies and gene therapies, by running nine different production lines simultaneously. Clean Cells will maintain its capacity for manufacturing virus banks. In addition, the company will quadruple its capacity for biosafety tests, allowing the company to respond to the increased demand from both existing and new clients. Clean Cells will continue to add new technologies to its portfolio in order to further raise its product safety standards and reduce turnaround times.
“This is a key project for the growth of Clean Cells, renowned for its contribution to the development of innovative drugs in France,” said Olivier Boisteau, co-founder and strategic adviser at Clean Biologics. “The production of cell banks for vaccines and therapeutic antibodies has known a strong upward trend over the past two years. We’ve hit the maximum capacity in our laboratories to offer our clients the most optimal services, which is exactly why we are almost doubling the number of production suites.”
“For over 20 years, Clean Cells has been serving the biopharmaceuticals development market. Its expertise and know-how is growing stronger every day, in particular since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the race to develop a vaccine,” said Joseph Jammal, CEO of the Clean Biologics group. “This new and state of the art site enables our teams to work in the best possible conditions to continue their analysis and production work. More generally, the project fits well within the wider growth strategy of the Clean Biologics group.”
The new facility will offer optimized production flows through the use of modern laboratories and collaborative workspaces. Sustainably designed, the new premises will also provide equipment focused on staff wellbeing, such as a gym and a relaxation room. For the construction of the new facility, Clean Cells will be supported by a number of reputable players including Laporte Euro, specialized in the design and construction of pharmaceutical laboratories, the Mûrisserie architects’ office in Nantes, and Otéis, a French engineering and consultation company focusing on construction, plumbing and infrastructure.
About Clean Cells
Clean Cells is a subsidiary of Clean Biologics. It offers (i) quality control and biological safety tests for biopharmaceutical products to assist in regulatory compliance, (ii) production of cell banks and GMP-grade BSL2/BSL3 virus seed stock, (iii) supply of secure storage for these products, alongside development and validation of bespoke analysis tools and (iv) production of bacteriophages for phage therapy.
The company was created in 2000, when three winners of grants from the Aventis–Institut de France Foundation sought to offer innocuity testing for biopharmaceuticals. Clean Cells is now one of the largest European companies within this sector. Its strong customer focus and sizable product catalog (which expands annually) have made it a key player in the development of novel treatments and in personalized medicine. Clean Cells also stands out for its ability to react and adapt to its customers’ needs and the transparency of its production and quality control processes.
Based near Nantes, in Western France, Clean Cells employs 112 staff.