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A Site Selection Web Exclusive, June 2015
WEB Exclusive story

Galapagos Evolves in France

A Paris-area life sciences hub moves fast to meet a Belgian biotech firm's needs.

Galapagos first arrived at BIOCITECH in 2006 as the result of an acquisition.
by Adam Bruns

BIOCITECH, the healthcare and biotech complex in Romainville, France, in the eastern suburbs of Paris, and Galapagos, a Belgian biotech company specializing in therapeutics, announced June 2 that Galapagos’ French subsidiary is moving into the fully refurbished Galien building, part of a long-term lease covering 5,800 sq. m. (62,432 sq. ft.), almost one-third of the space in the complex.

"This agreement comes at a time when few other European biotech companies are securing building space in France," said a release from BIOCITECH, which aims to secure a mix of one-third large biotech, one-third mid-size businesses (up to 50 staff) and one-third start-ups. Home to 30 firms today, the complex, originally launched in 1999, hopes to be home to 50 by as early as next year.

Galapagos, which arrived in Romainville in 2006 as part of its acquisition of ProSkelia, aims to centralize its BIOCITECH city complex activities in a single building, relocating its 130 staff from their three current BIOCITECH sites into the refurbished Galien building. To meet the company’s specific needs, BIOCITECH overhauled the Galien building and upgraded its complete range of equipment. The work was completed in less than a year. Galapagos will benefit from a wide range of adapted services from chemistry and biology laboratories to pre-clinical facilities and offices.

“This move shows our trust in BIOCITECH’s ability to foster growth and innovation,” said Pierre Deprez, Galapagos discovery site head. “This fully refurbished building with one floor dedicated to chemistry and two floors dedicated to biology fulfills Galapagos’ needs well. All colleagues working in the same building will enhance team interactions. This new building is a fantastic tool to support Galapagos’ drug discovery effort.”

"We value the contribution of our team in France,” said Onno Van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. “We are pleased to gain access to a high-quality and effective new research environment for our R&D efforts in Romainville.”

BIOCITECH is a key element in the Medicen Paris region’s world-class competitiveness hub for health and new therapies. It also belongs to the Cap Digital and Systematic clusters. Founded in 2005, the Medicen Paris Region global competitiveness cluster aims to position the Paris Region as a European industrial leader in diagnostic and therapeutic innovation and leading-edge health technologies, thus enabling it to become one of the global centers for translational medicine.

“We are delighted to invest in a series of upgrades on the Galien building. The long-term commitment shown by Galapagos will help us to strengthen the range of our services within the park. It also helps to secure the long-term future of the park,” said Jean-François Boussard, president of BIOCITECH. “The new lease validates our business model in terms of pricing — it also shows how we proactively respond to the needs of our residents.”

The Galapagos Group, including fee-for-service subsidiary Fidelta, has approximately 400 employees, operating from headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium and from facilities in The Netherlands, France and Croatia. Galapagos reported 2013 revenues of €160 million (US$179 million).

BIOCITECH is part of the Medicen Paris Region global competitiveness cluster.

Adam Bruns
Managing Editor of Site Selection magazine

Adam Bruns

Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.


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