Health and biotechnology in the Val d'Oise



The health and biotechnology industry is one of the highlights of economic activity in the Île-de-France region. Several large organisations in the Val d'Oise play their part in this dynamic.

carre The large number of research laboratories, a large hospital network, AP-HP (Public Assistance - Hospitals of Paris), and some one thousand specialised industrial companies all encourage the development of research and implementation of biotechnologies and medical devices throughout the region.
In the Val d'Oise alone, there are around one hundred companies working in the health and pharmaceutical science industries, including 3M Santé, Hyphen Biomed, Invitrogen, Pall Biosepra and Catalent. The Val d'Oise also has a large number of both public and private training centres, higher education institutions and research laboratories. Ever since the launch of competitiveness clusters by the French government, the Val d'Oise Economic Expansion Committee (CEEVO) has played

a major role in the work piloted by the regional development agency which has led to the Greater Paris project 'Medicen Paris Région' being granted status as a cluster. This cluster is one of the six international clusters recognised in France – a distinct opportunity for key players and companies in the Val d'Oise working in the health industry, bringing them together in projects whose key requirements include: strong industrial R&D academic research with international influence key public / private subsidiarity affirmation of local and regional political willpower demonstrated by core projects.
Lastly, one of the characteristics of the network of companies in the Val d'Oise in the health sector is the large number of well-known names, including 3M Santé, Pasteur Cerba Laboratoire, Pall Biosepra and many more.

« PNothing is more precious than health – which is why Area Time Logistics is the vital link between the world of science and the world of transport. »



The CEEVO promotes a number of strategic sectors of excellence in the Val d'Oise, working in partnership with networks of high-performance companies involved in these areas of business, most of which participate in the competitiveness cluster initiative.




INVITROGEN - Biotechnologies
3M Santé ACE - Biological analyses
AREA TIME - Medical transport logistics
BAYER DIAGNOSTICS - Medical instruments
CATALENT PHARMA SOLUTIONS - Drugs and active ingredients
DIAGNOSTICA STAGO - Medical instruments
GILSON - Medical instruments
HARISSON CLINICAL RESEARCH - Clinical analyses HYPHEN BIOMED - Biology applied to medicine INVITROGEN - Molecular biology
MDS PHARMA - Biological analyses
PALL BIOSEPRA - Drugs and active ingredients
SAFECOS - Control and sanitary watch
SILLIKER - Control and sanitary watch

carre The main goal of the RMVO, recognised as a Local Productive System by the DIACT (Delegation for the Development and Competitiveness of the Département), is the development of companies located in the département working in the measurement and instruments sector in any field. The work undertaken by this network is carried out with the aim of:

- strategic watch, assisting all companies involved in the manufacture of scientific and technical measurement and control instruments;

- collaborative work, in particular in the field of metrology, for representation at professional shows in France and abroad; for example at the « Mesure Expo » exhibition each year in Paris;

-working with higher education, in particular the University of Cergy-Pontoise, which already has courses training students for professions relating to instrumentation and measurement (professional degree);
access to a website to raise the profile of member companies and promote the network.


carre As part of the efforts by the CESE 95 (Val d'Oise Further Education / Company Forum) to bring further education institutions and SMEs and SMIs closer together in the département, the CEEVO is heavily involved each year in the Val d'Oise Research and Innovation Week. A wide variety of events are on offer locally during the course of the week: lectures, visits to factories, companies and research laboratories, business meetings, and so on.
Free of charge and open to all, this event is an opportunity to get to know some of the companies and laboratories in the health industry as well as the projects which are part of the Medicen competitiveness cluster.



The Higher School of Industrial Biology is a private technical institute of higher education, recognised by the State. It awards engineering diplomas recognised by the engineering accreditation commission. Courses lasts for 5-years post-Baccalaureate including the preparatory course is included. Challenges magazine ranks the school in the 30 leading engineering schools in France in terms of successful employment of graduates, links with industry and international standing.

In ten years, the EBI has become the benchmark engineering school for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It trains 600 students each year, 125 graduating at BAC + 5 level, including 100 engineers. For several years, the EBI has been taking part in the business conventions organised with Kumamoto and is now open to technological contacts in Osaka -Japanese companies in the biology and cosmetics sector are particularly interested in their know-how and skills. In addition, there are many relationships with the University ofSojo Microbiology department around shared fields of research, with exchanges betweenteaching research staff and students.

Research and further education:

- Higher School of Industrial Biology (EBI) in the Institut Polytechnique Saint-Louis: engineering diploma, courses for assistant engineers and Engineering Masters of Business

- University of Cergy-Pontoise (« Science and techniques » faculty): Master of Science in « Biological, informative and recombination macromolecule Technologies »

Public laboratories:

- ERRMECE: Extra-Cellular / Cell Matrix Relationships Research Laboratory

- SOSCO-UCP / ESCOM / CNRS: Selective Organic Synthesis and Organometallic Chemistry laboratory

- LPPI: Physical chemistry of Polymers and Interfaces Laboratory

- GRP2H: INSERM 680 branch working on Hereditary Liver Physiopathology: molecular biology, DNA sequencing, cloning.

Private laboratories:

- CATALENT, PALL BIOSEPRA: design and manufacture of drugs and active ingredients

HYPHEN BIOMED: Biotechnology applied to medicine

SILLIKER, SAFECOS: control and sanitary watch

- AREA TIME LOGISTICS: transportation of biological products

The University of Cergy-Pontoise has several research teams concentrating on health, in particular the ERRMECE, GRP2H and SOSCO laboratories. The University's research department has highly specialised laboratories (50 - 60 researchers).
Private health research in the Val d'Oise involves over 120 researchers, working in areas such as the design and manufacture of drugs and active ingredients, the development of watch resources for specialised biology, as well as scientific and technical instruments and control.


In order to consolidate its position in the increasingly competitive world economy, France has formed regional competitiveness clusters with a worldwide or national vocation. The aim is to bring together companies, research centres and training bodies to pool skills. They follow the industrial policy already developed in neighbouring Germany and Italy. Each cluster based in the Val d'Oise opens up the département to the world economy.

carre Aeronautics, health, information and communication technologies, transport, energy, finance, and more. The list of the 71 projected clusters, drawn up by the CIADT (Interministerial Regional Planning and Development Committee) covers all the major sectors of business throughout France. With the financial backing of the State, the listed clusters also benefit from tax breaks and reduced social contributions. In addition, local authorities may offer exemption from local taxes.

carre Six of the existing or aspiring world-class competitiveness clusters directly involve companies located in the Val d'Oise: ASTech Paris Région, Cap Digital Paris Région, Finance Innovation, Medicen Paris Région, Mov'eo and System@tic Paris Région.

Receiving the «Competitiveness Cluster» label has an immediate knock-on effect for the «département», enhancing both its brand image and the reputation of its companies, universities and research institutions.



Medicen Paris Région (an international competitiveness cluster) brings together the major players in life and health sciences in the Île-de-France region.

carre Medicen Paris Région is dedicated to high technology in the field of health: new drugs, gene, molecular and cell therapy. This cluster is structuring its work around the implementation of a skills network with key players from the health and drug science industries. Its aim is to establish the Île-de-France region as the leader for therapeutic innovations in the industry in Europe by 2010. Located at the heart of the leading economic region in Europe, it has the highest concentration of businesses in the health field in Europe and has all the advantages of a world-class metropolis like Paris in terms of financial, real estate and transport infrastructure. At the heart of the Val d'Oise,

the urban district of Cergy-Pontoise is identified as the cluster's prime R&D area.

carre The Medicen Paris Région aims to become the leading European industrial cluster in the field of therapeutic innovation. The Medicen Paris Région cluster is developing six areas of excellence, of which three fall into the therapeutics category - Neuroscience, Oncology and Infectious Diseases - and three into the technological category: Molecular and cellular medicine, Medical imaging and Drug science and techniques.


carre Catalent Pharma Solutions has an R&D centre and a facility at the heart of Cergy-Pontoise. This company came into being here following the sale of assets by the Cardinal Health group. In July 2007, Cardinal Health sold its drug manufacturing business to the Catalent group. The Cergy-Pontoise facility (formerly a division of Cardinal Health Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services) is now called Catalent Pharma Solutions.
Cardinal Health, a major American company for medical services, is involved in pharmaceutical distribution, hospital supplies and the development and production of pharmaceutical specialities. Cardinal Health employs over 55 000 people on 6 continents. The group has 30 factories. One of these is the facility in Cergy-Pontoise, which has been in the Val d'Oise for 30 years. Cardinal Health had a unit there for the development of pharmaceutical products and a production plant (180 employees) which designs and produces a portfolio of pharmaceutical specialities on behalf of third-party customers (including leading American, Japanese and European laboratories). Among the products developed and manufactured in Cergy-Pontoise, mainly hormone therapy tablets, is the famous « morning-after pill » Norlevo for Laboratoires HRA. This pill, millions of which are sold each year, requires very specific manufacture and quality control, given its particular prescription: just one dose! Fully satisfied with the advantages of the Val d'Oise (particularly transport and the skills pool), Cardinal Health has just invested 12m € to develop a new production unit specialising in 'spray drying', a specific technology for the preparation of hormones.

carre Set up in 1994 in response to considerable demand in the pharmaceutical industry, Area Time Logistics specialises in the transportation of medical samples at controlled temperatures. Located in Cergy-Pontoise, Area Time Logistics' head office is the hub of the company's business.
Active in France and in French overseas departments and territories, with a network of 100 drivers working directly for the company and 100 trained subcontracting transport providers, Area Time Logistics has 40 branches throughout France, the largest of which is in the Val d'Oise. They are also represented in over 50 countries through local agents who have been trained in the group's methods. In a demographical situation marked by an ageing population, developed countries will have to manage a greater diversity of medical treatments. This will entail a change in the number of preventive and remedial diagnoses. There will be more human samples and issues of cost will mean these are sent to centres of excellence for analysis.
Area Time Logistics' business calls for a complex level of technical know-how to ensure the integrity of samples. It is a world-class innovating company and a partner in collaborative projects for medical research, enabling progress in logistics for prime manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry. A member of 'Medicen Paris Région', the Paris region competitiveness cluster, Area Time Logistics will contribute its expertise in logistics solutions to ongoing changes in the sector, including training for members of the competitiveness cluster and across-the-board assistance for clinical research projects.

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