The group also used the investment to set up an incubator for health care industry start-ups.
Provence Technologies, a specialist fine chemistry research group, and its subsidiary Provepharm, developers of pharmaceutical applications, announced an investment of EUR 4 million to build their new head office in Marseille.
Provence Technologies and its subsidiary Provepharm moved into a new building of nearly 1,600 square meters, three times the floor space currently used. The site will accommodate all thirty staff currently employed by the group.
The building has been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment to create a dedicated chemical analysis facility. The installation of a kilo lab will increase the group’s capacity for synthesis. Provence Technologies can now make the link between preclinical and clinical phases for its clients and scale up for production by the kilogram.
The increased floor space means that staff numbers at the group can expand up to three-fold in the medium term, to sustain strong growth in the business (Provepharm has expanded by 2,000 per cent in five years).
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Michel Feraud, chairman and CEO of Provence Technologies Group said: “The new facilities mean that we can continue with our in-house R&D programs. I would like to acknowledge the involvement of all our staff and the support provided by our partners. They have really helped the group to reach the next level of development.”
An incubator specifically for fledgling health care industry companies
The EUR 4 million investment will also fund the launch of a specialist incubator for the health care sector. This is something of a rare step for an SME.
More than 200 square metres of the new head office will be given over to incubating and supporting innovative projects that synergise with the Provence Technologies and Provepharm businesses. The first projects could be up and running within the coming year and will benefit from the facilities and cross-functional skills within the group, as well as its network of commercial, financial and institutional partners.
“Having been housed in a leading-edge technology park where we were able to develop fully, we now want to give fledgling businesses in the health care industries every chance of success, to help them flourish and develop their ideas,” explains Michel Feraud. “It is often difficult for a start-up to get off the ground and find the right support to grow their business. Access to the experience of Provence Technologies Group’s staff will be a tremendous asset for these entrepreneurs.”