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Evotecchooses Toulouse

Evotec chooses Toulouse  to speed up access to anti-COVID treatments for Europeans.

Evotec, the German biotechnologies specialist, has invested 150 million euros to build its 1st bio-manufacturing site in Europe. Based at the heart of Toulouse Oncopole, the « health hub of the future », this high-tech facility will initially be producing COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies for use across Europe.

Toulouse; the European benchmark for cutting-edge companies specialising in biotechnologies and bio-manufacturing

This investment by Evotec, the German experts in pharmaceutical R&D, confirms Toulouse's position as one of the leading European cities for biotechnology and bio-manufacturing research. This « biotech » specialist selected a site here in Toulouse as the location for its new biomedicine production plant, a first in Europe. Construction of this 12,000m² facility will begin in the second half of 2021 and is due to be completed by 2023.

This decision can be explained by the richness of the healthcare ecosystem in Toulouse, which is based on cross-fertilisation and a strong synergy between all the stakeholders in the sector: some of the most well-respected health sector institutions in France (CHU Toulouse, Clinique Pasteur, IUCT-Oncopole), state-of-the-art public and privately funded research centres (Pierre Fabre, CRCT), bio-manufacturing facilities (Cell Easy, Flash Therapeutics, V-Nano, GTP Technologies, and soon Evotec) as well as support from city and regional government.

Biomedicine and the production of biomedicines were almost non-existent in Europe until a few years ago. Toulouse has taken its place as the Old World’s leader in the field of biotech, with the arrival of major international contractors such as Evotec, Pierre Fabre and InvivoGen.

With the new J.POD® 2 EU complex, Evotec and Toulouse join the battle against the global health crisis

Evotec is a German pharmaceuticals group that specialises in research, development and production of new biotechnologies, both in terms of processes and products. Since 2015, Evotec has supported all the key players in Toulouse's biotech sector, a field with a high stake in today’s fight against COVID-19 and more broadly in the medicine of the future.

On 20th April 2021, Evotec announced that it had identified a site in Toulouse (up until then used for R&D) for the construction of its new plant, known as « J.POD® 2 EU », over the course of the second half of 2021. This facility will initially produce COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies in order to help combat the global health crisis. This factory of the future will be the very first facility to manufacture this specialist company’s biomedicines in Europe. Its operation is based on cutting-edge technologies that will enable more efficient design and manufacture of bio therapeutics and simplify distribution across Europe.

Eventually, the site will be dedicated to the production of active agents, such as monoclonal antibodies or exosomes, intended for new generation biotherapies. Evotec has already announced that it will be recruiting 200 people for its Toulouse site by 2023.

Toulouse; a key asset in the government's plan to boost industrial healthcare capacity

The construction of J.POD® 2 EU is part of a vast plan to bolster industrial healthcare capacities that was established by the French Government in response to the COVID-19 crisis. National and local government bodies will offer support for its construction to the tune of 50 million euros following a « Capacity Building » tendering process that targeted the financing of 19 projects (including 5 in the Occitanie region) in 2020 with a budget of €229M and was reopened in 2021 with a further grant of €300M.

Toulouse Métropole, with the support of the Occitanie region, wishes to strengthen French industrial self-sufficiency in the health sector in order to respond to the current significant challenges of relocation and sovereignty highlighted by the health crisis. To this end, Toulouse and its region support projects aimed at promoting the Medicine of the Future, such as Evotec, which has obtained financial support of 6 million euros from the region and 2 million euros in annual tax relief from Toulouse Métropole.

As well as financial support, Invest in Toulouse, part of the Toulouse Métropole Development Agency, has played a key role in bringing innovative projects to light alongside the wider region and its leading industrial sectors, such as healthcare. Evotec has praised the work done by Invest in Toulouse:

"Ever since we arrived here in Toulouse in 2015, Evotec has become an established member of the area’s medical research ecosystem. Our excellent relationship with Oncopole has enabled us to advance our precision medicine strategies. Moreover, the network of excellent local universities and biotech centres provides a wonderful pool of talent that aids our growth. I am truly grateful to our 700 colleagues in Toulouse who have contributed so much to our success. Our experience of the local area is very positive and was a significant factor in our decision to begin construction of J.POD® 2 EU.
Such a strategic investment involves many stakeholders. We are very appreciative of the active and financial support at all levels of national, departmental, regional and local government. We are particularly grateful to the Invest in Toulouse team from the Development Agency who immediately spotted the potential of this project. With a very professional and energetic commitment, Invest in Toulouse has helped Evotec promote the concept in the right forums at the right time and has facilitated contact with numerous partners over the past 12 months."

- said Craig Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec Toulouse.