Sanofi has agreed to sell a life sciences park it owns on in Paris, France to public investment group, Caisse de Depots (CDC).
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.