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Pioneering innovation, fueling growth: UCB's commitment to delivering differentiated solutions

Posted by
Jacques Marbehant, Manufacturing Engineering & HS&E

At UCB, our mission has always been to create value for patients, now and into the future. We are driven by a profound sense of purpose – to push the boundaries of what's possible in order to improve the lives of people living with severe diseases. It's with great pride and excitement that we inaugurate our new state-of-the-art biotechnology plant at our UCB Braine-l'Alleud Campus. This strategic investment is not just a physical structure; it's a manifestation of our unwavering commitment to pioneering innovation and delivering unique outcomes to patients.

Over the past 18 months, our innovative spirit has yielded remarkable results: 10 + 2 positive phase 3 readouts and 14 approvals, spanning 6 patient populations across 3 continents. Our rich pipeline boasts 10 potential different medicines, each holding the promise to transform lives. We are making bold bets on highly innovative molecules, knowing that even a few "wins" can make a notable difference. As we look to the future, we are positioned for a decade and more of growth, thanks to our 5 key growth drivers and a solid foundation. By 2025, we aim to reach at least 6 billion euros in revenue, with a low 30s EBITDA margin.

Our UCB Campus at Braine-l'Alleud has been a vital part of this journey, evolving alongside the group to support our growth. What was once a high-volume location focused mainly on small-molecule chemistry has transformed over the past decade. We've invested in our first BioPilot plant, enhancing our chemistry, manufacturing, and control capabilities for biologics. Today, our high-tech campus is a thriving hub for 2,065 scientists, technicians, engineers, and manufacturing personnel from over 50 nationalities. This diverse community has grown by over 30 percent since 2018, a testament to our commitment to attracting and nurturing top talent.

To fuel our upcoming growth, we've made a strategic 300-million-euro investment in our cutting-edge biotechnology plant. Spanning 25,000 square meters, this facility is one of the largest and most modern in Belgium, creating over 150 new jobs. The plant incorporates new technologies and is designed for flexibility, superior performance, and multi-product manufacturing. With an initial capacity of 3x10,000l bioreactors and the potential to expand to 6 bioreactors, we are well-positioned to meet the growing demand for our innovative medicines.

But growth, for us, must be responsible. We have a duty to advance tomorrow's care while contributing to a more sustainable future for all. We've publicly committed to setting near- and long-term company-wide emission reduction targets in line with science-based net-zero through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Our efforts have been recognized by independent ESG rating firm Sustainalytics, who rank us as top leaders in our industry, and by the CDP, who recently upgraded our climate change rating from B to A-.

Our new Belgian Biomanufacturing Operations Center embodies our holistic approach to sustainability. It was designed with dual objectives: to surpass industry standards in environmental sustainability and to achieve superior productivity through advanced technologies. We expect significant gains in energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction.

In conclusion, the inauguration of our new biotechnology plant is a proud moment for all of us at UCB. It symbolizes our relentless pursuit of innovation, our dedication to patient care, and our commitment to responsible growth. As we step into the future, we do so with confidence, knowing that we are well-equipped to deliver differentiated solutions to people living with severe diseases, today and for the decade to come.

Do you want to make your mark for patients as we prepare for our next biological product launches at UCB?

We are offering the unique opportunity to join UCB with several exciting positions directly connected to the construction of our newly launched, state-of-the-art biomanufacturing facility on our campus in Braine l’Alleud, Belgium. We are looking for collaborative, innovative people to join our Biomanufacturing team, including Production Specialists and Technicians, Quality Specialists and Compliance Specialists. If you would like to learn more and discover how you can grow a rewarding career with us, visit our Biomanufacturing careers in Belgium page

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