Week's news analysis

UNITHER invests 68 million euros
in the innovative project: Euroject

By Editors - 29 November 2021
UNITHER Amiens site

Monday, November 22, during Emmanuel Macron's official visit to Amiens, the President of the Republic announced an important strategic project for Unither Pharmaceuticals. Eric Goupil, CEO of Unither Pharmaceutical to present the launch of the "Euroject" project for filling ready-to-use single-dose vaccines using Blow-Fill-Seal technology.

Unither will invest 68 million euros, of which 34 million euros (50%) will be financed by the French State. More than 200 jobs on the Amiens industrial site will be created within 5 years.

Unither Pharmaceutical is the winner of the call for expressions of interest (AMI) "Capacity building": a mechanism of the French State stemming from the Program of Investments for the Future. The French government unveiled the 25 new winning projects on November 26. These new winning projects represent an industrial investment of around 585 million euros and have benefited from a total amount of government aid of nearly 365 million euros (i.e. an aid rate of over 60 million euros). %) paid in the form of repayable advances. If the objectives of the projects are achieved, nearly 50% of the aid paid can be converted into grants.

14 projects focus on strengthening the entire COVID-19 vaccine production chain and represent state aid of 184 million euros.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the biopharmaceutical industry under acute pressure to considerably shorten time to market of the vaccines it is developing.

Recent innovations have opened up the possibility of using BFS technology to design aseptic packaging systems combining the efficiency of high-throughput production with the highest guarantees of sterility. The result is a new type of pre-filled, single-dose disposable syringe that can be produced in very large numbers with a high-speed rotary machine, at very low production costs. A single BFS machine ROMMELAG 460 can produce 30,000 doses an hour. Depending on the operating hours of the production line (8hx3 per day), a single line can produce as many as 18 million doses a month. An industrial network made up of several rotary machines can provide large quantities of doses in a very short time span, in order to provide a response to epidemics.

With 26 years of experimentation and a big commitment to innovation, French CDMO company Unither Pharmaceuticals has imposed itself as the world leader in producing sterile single doses using Blow-Fill-Seal technology.

Thanks to its sites in the US, France and China, Unither is capable of managing the development of a Blow-Fill-Seal product from design through to manufacture, with a capacity of over 5 billion doses from the sites of Amiens, Gannat, Coutances, France Rochester, NY, and Nanjing, China. All the sites are inspected and accredited by the FDA to supply the US market, and also by the ANVISA (Brazil), SKFDA (South Korea), EMA (Europe) and other health authorities around the world.

The start-up of these new production lines in dedicated premises in Amiens is scheduled for 2024. With a production target of 1 billion single-dose vaccines per year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also been a reminder of the need for the world to be better prepared for the next epidemic. Innovative new delivery forms EUROJECT can contribute to greater equity in access to new vaccines and to ensuring safe vaccine administration, while being simple and cost effective. "This strategic project has a major impact on the achievement of our mission: to make the product available to a large number of people which improves and simplifies the lives of patients" said Eric Goupil.

These innovative forms can make a big contribution to worldwide vaccine coverage, and in particular in emerging countries, in order to prepare more effectively for future epidemics.

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