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Pharmatech firm Yposkesi is due to begin operations at its new site south of Paris in 2024. Actemium Paris Process Instrumentation will be installing the site’s power-supply and extra-low-voltage infrastructure.

Gene therapy is a major source of hope in the battle against cancers, blood disorders, and genetic, hereditary, and neurodegenerative diseases. The therapy works by introducing genetic material – DNA or RNA – into an organism, but this requires complex and extremely costly technology.

Production capacities for gene therapy medication are currently limited. In October 2022, the European Medicines Agency announced just 11 authorised products. But research is progressing, with more than 2,000 trials currently under way worldwide, within an active and innovative ecosystem.

Created in November 2016 by AFM-Téléthon and the Bpifrance-managed SPI investment fund, Yposkesi (from the Greek word for “promise”) is a company specialising in gene therapy medicines.

“The healthcare sector has extremely rigorous certification processes for new units”

The business produces custom-developed solutions that enable pharmaceutical laboratories to manufacture their medicines, and recently developed a new 5,000 sq. metre production site on the Genopole Campus in Evry‑Courcouronnes/Corbeil‑Essonnes, south of Paris. The aim is to triple production capacity, made possible in part by four new 1,000-litre bioreactors.

Power supply, extra-low voltage and clean rooms

“To reduce the (often very high) costs of these treatments, healthcare-sector manufacturers have no choice but to prioritise productivity,” explains Olivier Bardet, Business Unit Manager at Actemium Paris Process Instrumentation, which is responsible for power supply and extra-low voltage work at the new site. “The difficulty lies in reconciling this with the exacting and strictly non-negotiable hygiene requirements for the clean rooms.”

In its role of safety and support expert for industrial projects in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors, the VINCI Energies business unit joined forces with Tunzini (VINCI Energies), CBI (VINCI Construction) and FOSELEV to provide comprehensive implementation of Yposkesi’s specifications.

In 2021, France-based Yposkesi became part of the South Korean SK group, which provided the capital injection needed to facilitate manufacturing at the scale required. The group invested close to €60 million in construction of the new factory,

which was completed in May 2023. “The healthcare sector has extremely rigorous certification processes for new units, which can take between six and twelve months,” says Olivier Bardet. “You then need approval from the French national agency for medicine and health product safety.”

Production will require around 80 operatives, and the plant should be ready to start producing batches in 2024. Other developments may soon follow, as the new site was designed to allow future expansion without interrupting production.