Evotec SE announced that the Company has initiated the construction of its J.POD® 2 EU biologics manufacturing facility at Evotec’s Campus Curie in Toulouse, France. J.POD® 2 EU, Evotec’s second cGMP biomanufacturing facility, will employ Just – Evotec Biologics’ cutting-edge technology that utilizes small, automated, highly intensified and continuous bioprocessing operations housed inside autonomous cleanrooms.
J.POD® 2 EU will be Evotec’s first commercial biomanufacturing facility in Europe and is anticipated to deliver much needed capacity, flexibility and quality for biotherapeutic development and manufacturing. The construction of Evotec’s first J.POD® 1 US in Redmond, Washington is proceeding on schedule and will be fully operational in H2 2021.
With its wholly owned subsidiary, Just – Evotec Biologics, Evotec is ideally positioned to build the capacity required for the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemic threats delivering rapid, high quality outcomes. Evotec is supporting multiple projects against COVID-19, including partnerships with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Department of Defense.
In addition to J.POD® technology, Evotec is building unparalleled data-driven scientific capabilities to meet future viral threats, which include fast discovery, optimisation and development of novel therapeutic agents.
The build-up of J.POD® 2 EU will be supported with up to € 50 m from the French government, the Occitanie Region, Bpifrance, the Haute-Garonne prefecture as well as Toulouse Métropole. The total investment hat Evotec plans to undertake is currently estimated at approx. € 150 m.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: “The global availability and accessibility of highly effective biotherapeutics has been Just – Evotec Biologics’ mission right from the start. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has underlined the need for flexible and nearshore biomanufacturing capacities. We are very grateful that through the support of the French government as well as all local institutions, we can now continue to deliver on this mission with the construction of Europe’s first J.POD® facility, this is critical for society.”
Evotec’s Toulouse site, the Campus Curie, was recently expanded through the acquisition of “Biopark by Sanofi.” Evotec has been operating in France since 2015. Construction of the J.POD® 2 EU facility is expected to begin in H2 2021, and is expected to be fully operational in 2023.
Dr Craig Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: “With Just – Evotec Biologics, Evotec has world-leading expertise for biologics discovery, process development and production. We are very pleased with the market response and demand for J.POD® 1 US even ahead of completion, so this second J.POD® facility is a significant expansion of our capacity of disruptive and transformational bioproduction. In addition, the flexibility of the modular J.POD® setup also creates potential opportunities for cell and gene therapy biomanufacturing. These modalities, which are also an integral part of our data-driven R&D Autobahn to Cures, therefore also stand to benefit from this new facility. I would also like to thank our partners in France for their help and support in creating this J.POD® 2 EU to broaden global access to important biologics therapies.”
Agnès Pannier-Runacher, French Minister for Industry: “The French Government invests in healthcare and other strategic sectors for our industrial sovereignty. This announcement from Evotec in the Occitanie Region exemplifies our determination to relocate production activities in France, in particular regarding biotherapies which are at the core of drug innovation these past years. We will continue to deploy our strategy in accelerating the Investing for Future Plan.”
Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie / Pyrenees-Mediterranee Region: “Evotec’s decision to locate its new European production plant in the Occitanie region highlights the richness of the local innovative biotherapy sector, and in particular the excellent complementarity between all the players in the value chain, which ranges from cutting-edge research laboratories to university hospitals and bioproduction facilities. This project is fully in line with the ambitions of the Occitanie Region, which aims to respond to the current major issues of relocation and sovereignty, as emphasized by the health crisis, through supporting projects that strengthen the autonomy and resilience of strategic industrial sectors, including the health sector.”
Jean-Luc Moudenc, President of Toulouse Métropole, Mayor of Toulouse: “The opening of a manufacturing plant, the concrete expression of Evotec’s development in Toulouse, since the creation of its main site in France in 2015 on the Health Campus of the Future - Oncopole, is excellent news that illustrates the vitality of our metropolis. In addition to the job creation that will accompany the creation of this new factory, Evotec will strengthen all of the companies present in our territory in the field of Biomedicines, a field with a high stake in the fight against the sanitarian crisis. Toulouse Metropole supports the relocation of production, which contributes to the national and European industrial sovereignty, and leads a voluntarist action in favor of the Medicine of the Future. Evotec is fully in line with this strategy.”