« Integration, Quality, Flexibility and Environment »…
The “Antibody Biotechnology Unit” (UBA) is the bioproduction centre of the CIPF. This facility brings additional development and production capacity for the biological molecules identified by the Research teams. Located close to the CIPF, the UBA combines GMP suites, the Quality Control laboratories, offices and storage. The capacity will allow the production of batches for clinical studies of phases I and II.
Therapeutic treatments are evolving, as are the technologies. In order to keep up, the UBA is designed to be flexible and to be adapted quickly to scale-up and new projects. A choice has been made to use innovative equipments that have greater flexibility of operation and add guarantee of security for the products.
Through this project, the Pierre Fabre Laboratories have pursued a policy of sustainability. Thus, the UBA and our site at Soual (Tarn) are pioneer sites in France and are engaged in the creation of the “High Environmental Quality” label for industrial sites. This action, in partnership with CERTIVEA, is unique at national level for a bioproduction site (see sidebar).
The facility design, its integration into the existing site, the energy preservation measures, water management and the comfort of employees are among many of the concerns that have been studied before construction. All these measures have been taken into account to meet the essential requirements of pharmaceutical standards.
The CIPF and the UBA constitute a model of operational excellence. It is one of a few sites in France that has such a high level of integration, with Research, Development, and Bioproduction. This structure, based in a privileged environment, gives to the Pierre Fabre Group a leadership position in this field to identify and evaluate the therapeutic potential of next generation biomolecules.
At the moment, the HQE label (“Haute Qualité Environnementale”) does not exist for industrial buildings and laboratories. The UBA facility at St Julien will contribute to establishing this future certification. From the outset of the project and to be as close as possible to the sustainability requirements, the conception of the building has been thought with energy optimization that would be compatible with the objectives of the unit.
Addenda, a consultant company with expertise in the field, worked on simulations and figures to optimize the energy costs relevant to the architecture and unit’s objectives.
“We wished to be as close as possible to HQE certification, explains Olivier Cochet, Director of the Industrial Biotechnology, but as it does not exist yet, we have consulted Certivéa, the official French organism of certification.”
The UBA project has officially been classified as ‘experimental operation’ to serve as a paradigm of HQE labelling for the industrial sector. From the model already HQE stamped for the logistic platform, teams have worked with Addenba to implement the requirements for the 140 sections of the HQE label (divided in 14 targets) or to adapt them to the building specificity.
In total, the effort has required an important team commitment. Propositions have been defined precisely for fields as diverse as the setting up of a “green charter”, water management, energy performance, the use of environmentally friendly materials, lightning management, the green spaces layout,…
 HQE: French standard of environmental performance for buildings. Referential has 14 “targets”.
 Certivéa: is a subsidiary/branch of “CSTB”, the “Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment” (the scientific and technical centre for buildings) in charge of “HQE” certifications for buildings.