The life science park in the Parisian suburb Romainville was established in 2002 by Aventis as a research hub designed to attract both local and international developers. Two years later Aventis was bought by Sanofi-Synthélabo, which retained ownership of the site.
In the decade or so since the park has attracted 25 such companies, which employ a combined 350 scientists. The largest company present is Belgian biotech firm Galapagos NV, which operates a research lab at the site.
Under the deal CDC – an investment fund controlled by the French Government - will buy a 40% stake in the park from Sanofi for an undisclosed sum. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
A CDC spokeswoman told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “CDC will set up Biocitech Immobilier to run the park” explaining that a key focus of the new entity will be to attract more companies to the site.
“By 2015 CDC will buy the remaining 60% of the park from Sanofi. After which Sanofi will no longer have any financial stake in the park.”
She added that although some of the businesses at the site conduct small-scale manufacturing, the vast majority focus on biotechnology R&D and early-phase drug development work.
The spokeswoman also confirmed that the Galapagos laboratory will continue to operate, explaining that the plan for the firm to relocate to a building that is currently being refurbished in the next few years.
Sanofi announced its intention to cease manufacturing operations at a neighbouring site in 2010 citing the negative impact of patent expiration and generic competition for some of its top selling drugs.