Galapagos leases one-third of Sanofi-founded biopark to consolidate French R&D operations

Galapagos ($GLPG) is moving into new digs on the outskirts of Paris. The relocation sees 130 staff move from three locations across the Biocitech campus Sanofi ($SNY) founded in 2002 to a newly refurbished building on the site that houses a mix of biology and chemistry laboratories.

Galapagos CEO Onno van de Stolpe

Mechelen, Belgium-based Galapagos has signed a 12-year, €1.2 million ($1.3 million)-per-annum net rent lease on the 5,800-square-meter building, giving it one-third of the space on the Biocitech campus. The move soups up Galapagos' R&D capabilities at a time when it is plotting how to keep its pipeline stocked using its IPO windfall, around $30 million of which is set aside for discovery and early-stage development work. Biocitech has refurbished the building to meet Galapagos' growing R&D needs.

"This fully refurbished building with one floor dedicated to chemistry and two floors dedicated to biology fulfills Galapagos' needs well," Pierre Deprez, Galapagos discovery site head, said in a statement. Galapagos has operated out of the Biocitech site to the north east of Paris since 2006 but has scattered its teams across three buildings. Now, it sees value in bringing everyone under one roof. "All colleagues working in the same building will enhance team interactions," Deprez said.

Galapagos has been lined up to occupy the building since at least 2013, at which time a French regional development group was embarking on an initiative to develop the campus. Aventis, the Franco-German pharma Sanofi bought for €54.5 billion in 2004, created the park back in 2002 to provide accommodation to small to mid-sized life science players. Since then, state regional development group Caisse des Depots has invested in the campus, leading to the redevelopment of buildings and confirmation of Galapagos' status as an anchor tenant.

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