Science Pool

J.POD® Toulouse: Revolutionizing Biologics Manufacturing in Europe

 

Just – Evotec Biologics is constructing a new biomanufacturing facility in Toulouse, France. The facility applies the company’s successful J.POD design featuring a single-use continuous cell culture manufacturing platform set inside production-on-demand modules within a ballroom manufacturing space. The investment of approximately €150 million was announced in April 2021 and the company broke ground on the project in September 2022. In October last year the building shell was completed and the autonomous cleanroom POD installation occurred at the beginning of this year. Now the equipment will be installed into the cleanroom PODs ready for the facility to be operational in the second half of 2024.

Evotec Toulouse J-Pod Aerial Photo-4 (1)

At the core of this endeavour lies the innovative J.POD biomanufacturing facility developed by Just – Evotec Biologics. J.POD facilities contain the company’s continuous manufacturing platform for antibodies and other therapeutic proteins with an Fc-region. The continuous process is so highly intensified that it can be contained within production-on-demand modules that sit within a ballroom cleanroom space. The design is central to the company’s mission: to design and apply groundbreaking technologies that dramatically expand global access to biotherapeutics.

The J.POD design is commercial biologic manufacturing-ready but can also easily deliver batches for clinical trials. The ability to modulate capacity easily depending on the lifecycle stage of the molecules is one of the advantages of continuous manufacturing.

 

Transitioning to Continuous Manufacturing

Traditional fed-batch manufacturing methods have long been the standard for producing biologics. However, switching to continuous manufacturing with a high degree of intensification reduces the cost of goods manufactured (COGM) of biologics to less than $50 per gram by reducing the cost of building and running biomanufacturing facilities.

The use of pod modules in the design of J.POD Toulouse allow for greater agility, readily expandable facilities, and lower risk. Unlike traditional methods that require scaling up to larger production trains, the J.POD approach ensures flexibility in meeting demand fluctuations. This is extremely valuable to companies that launch new products and find it difficult to predict the ramp up in market demand.

By expanding into Europe, J.POD Toulouse enhances the company’s ability to support customers based in Europe, effectively. With facilities on both sides of the Atlantic, the company is providing supply chain security by having duplicated capacity in two geopolitically stable regions.

Just – Evotec Biologics’ announcement last year of a multi-year, long-term tech partnership with Sandoz to develop and manufacture multiple biosimilars in J.POD facilities demonstrate the industry’s readiness to embrace continuous production methods.

 

Process Development Capabilities

To support manufacturing operations J.POD Toulouse facility houses robust process development capabilities, including:

  1. Cell Line Development: Streamlining the creation of high-yield cell lines for antibody production.
  2. Upstream & Downstream Process Development: Optimizing the entire continuous production process, from cell culture to purification.
  3. Formulation Development: Crafting stable and effective formulations for therapeutic molecules.

 

Conclusion

J.POD Toulouse prepares to open its doors with its commitment to cost-effectiveness, scalability, and supply chain security. This facility stands poised to transform the way we produce lifesaving biotherapeutics. Watch this space—J.POD Toulouse is about to make waves in Europe and beyond.

This project benefits from French government funding as part of the Investments for the future Programme (programme d’investissements d’avenir in French) and is also supported economically by the Occitanie Region.