18.09.2012 - UCB S.A. has officially opened the doors to a new pilot biotech plant at its Braine-L'Alleud site in Belgium.
The Brussels-based drugmaker has invested more than €65m into the project, which was supported by the Walloon region. The 5,100 square meter facility is currently undergoing a validation phase. After becoming fully operational in the course of 2013, the first four bioreactors with a total volume of 3,200 litres will start to produce cell culture-based therapeutic proteins for UCB’s research pipeline and clinical trials. At the same time, manufacturing processes will be designed and optimised to move from development to full scale industrial production. The facility will include integrated laboratories and additional infrastructure to house 100 staff.
“Today, 33% of drugs for human use worldwide are of biotechnological origin and represent more than half of UCB’s current R&D pipeline“, stated Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB. “With this bio pilot plant, we can more rapidly initiate clinical studies of new antibody-based therapeutics that are addressing serious unmet medical needs.”
UCB is currently heavily investing to push its production capabilities. Just last year, the Belgian company also initiated a project to build in-house biotech microbial manufacturing capacity in Bulle, Switzerland. The new manufacturing unit is expected to become operational in 2015 and requires an investment of €250m.
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