Algae carrying stem cells. In short, this is the new axis of R&D in which Brothier engages. This lab independent pharmaceutical company, founded after the war, has, Fontevraud-l’Abbaye, in Maine-et-Loire, of a factory presented as the largest European site for the transformation of calcium alginate. This material, derived from brown seaweed from Chile, Norway or Brittany is transformed there into technical compresses intended for haemostasis or healing, in particular for the surgery.
The company intends to participate in the design of the “compress of tomorrow” incorporating cell therapy. This will combine the calcium alginate molecule with stem cells or their derivatives, extracellular vesicles or exosomes. This gelled fiber should improve healing in severe burns, lesions of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, genetic dermatoses or to accelerate the healing of transplant donors, in order to be able to shorten the time for a new sample.
10 million euros by 2025
Another line of research aims to use this combination directly on the skin graft to improve graft capture. This work is being carried out with the Percy military hospital in Clamart, in the Hauts-de-Seine, and Inserm. It is a long-term program that could be completed within a decade, according to Christian Girardière, president and main shareholder of Brothier.
Innovation is also permanent at the process level industrial. Brothier announces a new phase of investments of 10 million euros by 2025, in Fontevraud. It is the sequel to a previous program of 15 million which had allowed the renewal of the vats and the establishment of a wet spinning process. Because the seaweed goes through a liquid, gelled state before being transformed into fibers by dehydration.
This new investment will focus on the implementation of the non-woven textile process, all in clean rooms and stainless steel. “These machines are designed specifically for us, they are tailor-made prototypes”, specifies Christian Girardière. Brothier’s production capacity, which reached 40 tonnes of biopolymers in 2019, will be increased to 60 tonnes this year, then to 100 tonnes in 2025.
Creation date : 1949
President : Christian Girardiere
Turnover: 46 million euros in 2021
Effective : 170 people