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Launch of a project in Lyon to bring ANSES and the ANSM closer together: their future shared home takes shape

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News of 25/02/2021

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) and the French Health Products Safety Agency (ANSM) have decided to combine some of their scientific activities and bring them together under a new roof. The Pargade Architectes firm was chosen to build this new shared home. Entirely dedicated to the "One Health" approach, the new building will combine cutting-edge technological facilities with laboratories ensuring a high level of biosafety in human, animal and plant health. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024. It will further consolidate the agencies' presence within Lyon's global competitiveness cluster, an ecosystem of excellence devoted to health and infectious diseases that benefits from an internationally renowned scientific community.

In order to combine some of their activities and ensure better health protection for humans, animals and the environment, the two agencies decided to bring ANSES's Lyon Laboratory and part of ANSM's Laboratory Controls Division together under the same roof in Lyon-Gerland. Following the architectural competition, the plan put forward by Pargade Architectes was unanimously selected by the jury. Work is scheduled to start in 2022, with delivery in 2024. In this new 8,300 m2 building, the two agencies will benefit from cutting-edge laboratories and a molecular biology facility in which they can share the very latest equipment, such as genome sequencing technologies.

Located in the heart of the Lyon-Gerland Biodistrict, an area that already hosts numerous public and private players in healthcare and life sciences, the new building will be constructed on a plot of land owned by the city of Lyon and occupied by ANSES's Lyon Laboratory, whose buildings will be demolished. 

For this project, whose total cost is estimated to be €32.5 million, ANSES and ANSM have received a €12 million subsidy from the Lyon metropolitan area. The city of Lyon is fully committed to the "One Health" approach underlying this project to bring the ANSM and ANSES closer together, and is providing financial support of €2 million (excluding VAT) for building demolition and decontamination of the eastern part of the site. The two agencies are sharing the remaining costs equally. They are planning to move into the building in the summer of 2024. 
 

Teams with complementary skills dedicated to "One Health"

In their new joint home, ANSES and the ANSM will be able to share their strategic thinking and pool their equipment in a cross-cutting approach encompassing human health, animal health and welfare, and environmental protection.

The teams at the Lyon Laboratory are internationally renowned for their work to combat antimicrobial resistance, on the health risks associated with emerging animal diseases such as those caused by mycoplasma or prions, which can be transmitted to humans, and on the epidemiological surveillance of animal and plant diseases, as well as food-chain safety. The laboratory also studies risks of resistance among plant pests and pathogens to pesticides, and the effects of these products on the development of human neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Parkinson's disease.

The ANSM teams that will be moving into the building are currently based in Lyon and in Saint-Denis (Ile-de-France). The Lyon team, which specialises in vaccine quality and safety control, is the European leader in the vaccine batch release process, whereas the Paris teams monitor the quality and safety of blood-derived medicinal products, which are also subject to the same batch release process, in accordance with the European Directive in force, and monitor the market for innovative biotechnological drugs.
 

A building that places the emphasis on ecology and vegetation 
The five-storey building will accommodate 150 people: 80 from ANSES and 70 from the ANSM. It will also host thesis and master's students, bringing the total number of workstations to 180. A special feature of the project is its emphasis on vegetation, with a roof garden and a patio on the third floor, as well as the planting of a "mini forest" of 500 trees on the plot, designed as a self-sustaining ecosystem made up of local species. These plants have numerous functions: to cool urban heat islands, abate noise pollution, improve the working environment and support biodiversity. Several of the construction choices are designed to reduce the building's ecological footprint, such as the use of low-carbon concrete made of 30% recycled aggregates or the planned wood-frame façade covered with earthen plaster, which halves its carbon footprint compared to a concrete façade. It also includes a number of adaptations designed to reduce heat, such as the installation of an air circulator fan and a reduced number of glass façades.


 

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