France: Inauguration of the first “cell therapy” facility

Publié le : 13 September 2013

 The first French facility for the large-scale production of "cell therapy" was opened on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 in Ulis (Essone). This platform, which is "the biggest European facility", is piloted by CellForCure, a subsidiary of the LFB biopharmaceutical group. The first batch of products “is expected to be trialled by the end of 2013."   
"The treatment of diseases is on the verge of a revolution: today we treat people with molecules, tomorrow we will treat them with cell therapy," declared Christian Béchon, Chairman and Managing Director of LFB, qualifying this new platform as an "indispensible industrial link" in the development of cell therapies which constitute "personalised medicine." "Cell therapy is an integral part of emerging channels," added Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Industrial Renewal who also attended the inauguration of this initial platform. 
The five products in the pipeline target melanoma, cardiac ischemia, cancer of the blood, a certain type of diabetes and anal incontinence. "The industrial challenge is to produce large numbers of small individual, tailor-made batches at the same time", explained Pierre-Noël Lirsac, chairman of the cell therapy subsidiary, CellForCure. In fact, "70% of cell therapies are said to be autologous, i.e. produced by the specific cells of the patient for whom they are intended."       
The cell therapy market amounted to 500 million Euros in 2012. It is forecast to reach 10 billion Euros by 2020, with an annual estimated growth rate of 20 to 40%.

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