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6 Oct 2021

HTL launches a new, cutting-edge bioproduction unit for pharmaceutical-grade biopolymers

HTL4 (France), a new, cutting-edge bioproduction unit for pharmaceutical-grade biopolymers

HTL is a French biotechnology company and industrial player that has become a world leader in the development and production of pharmaceutical-grade biopolymers. Thanks to this new investment of 50 million euros, HTL will more than double its production capacity, allowing it to accelerate its international development and become the world's largest producer of pharmaceutical-grade hyaluronic acid. Biopolymers produced by this unit will enable an increasing number of leading companies in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors to offer innovative therapeutic solutions to their patients worldwide.

Javené, September 30, 2021 - HTL, a French leading biotech and industrial player in the development and production of innovative pharmaceutical-grade biopolymers, announced the launch of a new bioproduction unit in Javené, France.

Representing an investment of more than 50 million euros, this new unit dedicated to the bioproduction of pharmaceutical-grade hyaluronic acid represents a pivotal stage in the development of HTL and the largest investment ever made in the world for a biopolymer production unit. It will enable HTL to become the largest producer of pharmaceutical-grade hyaluronic acid in the world and accelerate its international development.‍

Equipped with cutting-edge technologies to automatise different parts of the production chain, HTL4 will allow the company to increase its production capacity by 2.3. A symbol of HTL’s unique expertise in the bioproduction of these complex molecules, HTL4 will guarantee products of high quality whilst also improving the working conditions of its employees. Additionally, specific technologies were selected during the conception of the project to reduce its environmental impact while guaranteeing its reliability, including a new recycling process which reduces by 50% water consumption per unit produced.

Combined with the historic, unparalleled expertise of our teams, HTL4 represents a new industry standard for the bioproduction of biopolymers”, said Yvon Bastard, Chairman and CEO of HTL. “We are particularly proud of this key milestone for HTL, which comes after years of uninterrupted double-digit growth and international expansion.”

HTL4 will complement the company's two other production infrastructures. Since 2006, more than 200 million syringes have been manufactured worldwide using HTL’s hyaluronic acid produced through biofermentation, an alternative to animal extraction requiring a considerable expertise which HTL has pioneered.

The commissioning of HTL4 will allow 70 new hires in the coming years, in addition to the nearly 100 recruitments carried out over the last three years to support the strong growth of HTL’s sales revenue, multiplied by three in 10 years.

Our growth is the result of an increased demand from international leaders for our unparalleled biopolymer platform, which offers a unique set of innovative and customisable solutions”, explained Charles Ruban, Deputy CEO of HTL. “HTL4 will enable us to secure the supply of the customers we have in more than 30 countries, while accelerating our international growth in key markets, such as the United States or Asia.”

The commissioning of HTL4 complements the opening in 2018 at Javené of a cutting-edge R&D facility, HTL3. This facility is dedicated, in partnership with leading academic institutions, to three areas of research: the development of new biopolymers, the chemical functionalization of these biopolymers and the exploration of new therapeutic applications related to breakthrough medical innovations, such as regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Biopolymers are used by our customers to treat millions of patients worldwide and represent a huge source of hope for tomorrow’s medicine. We are very proud to be able to participate to the development of new therapeutic solutions and to lead innovation in our sector", concluded Yvon Bastard.

About biopolymers and hyaluronic acid

Biopolymers include several types of substances naturally produced by living organism cells. Among them, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are known for their lubricating and shock absorption characteristics, as well as their natural biodegradability within the human body. This is the case, for example, of hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan or HA), a natural substance found in the human body with many biological functions, such as skin moisturising, and lubricating the joints and tissues of the eye.

HTL produces GAGs by biofermentation, an alternative to animal extraction that maintains the quality necessary to obtain a pharmaceutical grade, which allows biopolymers to be injectable in the patient, and which can be used as pharmaceutical ingredients for the development of medical treatments. The chemical properties of biopolymers can also be customised by HTL’s R&D teams to precisely meet the needs of customers and their patients.

Today, biopolymers developed and produced by HTL are used to provide treatments that improve the lives of millions of patients in many therapeutic areas, such as ophthalmology (cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, dry eye treatment, etc.), rheumatology (osteoarthritis treatment), urology (treatment of vesicoureteral reflux, a rare paediatric congenital disease) and aesthetic medicine (dermal filler).

‍Biopolymers are also at the heart of several research programmes on breakthrough innovations in medicine, such as bioprinting, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and the administration of drugs or stem cells.

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