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2021 results show UCB continues to innovate for better health together – delivering on strategy and commitments

Posted by
Sandrine Dufour, EVP Chief Financial Officer

At UCB, we want to give people with severe diseases the freedom to live the life they like to live – a life that’s lived as free as possible from the challenge and uncertainty of disease. To achieve this ambition, we aspire to work in a way that puts sustainability as our business approach, generating value for all stakeholders, our employees, the communities around us, the planet and our shareholders. And as our 2021 results show, it’s a business approach that’s paying off.

Today we posted our 2021 full-year results. The results show that in a world that continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, UCB is consistently delivering strong financial and extra-financial results for all our stakeholders, while living our purpose to make a truly meaningful impact on the lives of those living with severe diseases.

In 2021, we touched on the lives of over 3.7 million patients around the world, connecting the unmet needs of patients with innovative biological research and cutting-edge science. We delivered € 5 777 million in revenue and a 28% EBITDA margin, thanks to current core product growth and extensive efforts to serve new patient populations. 

It was a busy year for UCB. In an unprecedented string of events, six positive Phase 3 study readouts came through from our late-stage pipeline, underlining the robustness of our position and long-term growth prospects. We initiated partnerships ranging from a multi-year strategic collaboration with Microsoft to bring innovative new medicines to life through pairing drug discovery with computational expertise, to partnering with Novartis to co-develop two drug candidates for Parkinson’s Disease. And we announced the planned acquisition of Zogenix to build on our heritage in epilepsy and further our work in developing therapies for rare diseases.

Our sustained financial strength goes hand in hand with our commitment to making a positive impact on society, by driving sustainable growth with solutions that make real improvements to people’s lives. Crucially, we believe that as well as creating value for patients, we need to create value for our employees, our shareholders, and our communities, all while respecting the planet. That’s because ultimately, every company, country and citizen is interconnected – what one of us does impacts the others. There are some good examples of this in the sustainability section to the Integrated Annual Report. 

Loss of exclusivity (LOE) is a natural milestone in a drug’s lifecycle, and one we can anticipate and prepare for. The coming months will be marked by long-expected impacts from the loss of exclusivity of two of our anti-epileptic therapies, in Japan, the U.S. and the European Union. Yet UCB is set to enter an exciting new transition period where we plan for accelerated company growth.

Our new drug to treat people living with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis has recently been approved in the EU, Great Britain, Japan and Canada, with launches underway in numerous European countries. Subject to regulatory approvals, we hope to be able to bring it to people living with psoriasis in the U.S. in the first half of this year.

This drug has the potential to reach even more people – such as those living with axial spondyloarthritis or psoriatic arthritis – and we plan to submit to the regulatory agencies later this year. We’re also already preparing for the launch of two new complementary treatment options for people living with generalized Myasthenia Gravis. Here, we’re seeking regulatory approval with submission planned later this year.

I’m immensely proud of UCB’s performance in 2021, and what we’re on track to achieve together, which is no small feat. With more than 90 years behind us, our business footprint spans the globe – from our headquarters in Brussels to nearly 40 countries around the globe – and our patient impact stretches further still. And without a doubt, increasing our reach to innovate and differentiate is how we stay true to our purpose, to create value for patients – now and into the future.

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