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Laying the foundations of the biotech future

Posted by
France Nivelle, Global Communications & Change Support
And so it begins: After much planning, the building work on UCB’s new biotechnology production unit in Bulle, Switzerland, has begun.

The first stone was laid on the 4th of May, marking the beginning of a new page in UCB’s history.

So, why biotech and why Bulle?

Many of our innovative medicines are the fruits of investment in biotechnology research and development. We are now in the happy position of seeing strong demand for biological therapies from patients and we need to add to our biotech manufacturing capacity to meet this need. One of the major focuses of the Bulle unit will be the production of an antibody-based therapy used to treat severe diseases.

The choice of the Bulle site was made after thorough consideration of several other places on different continents.  The company’s connection with Bulle goes back 15 years. The area has many attractions, including a strong track record in the biotech sector and a concentration of world-class research and educational establishments.

On top of this, we have an excellent working relationship with the cantonal, municipal and economic development authorities, making Bulle a natural choice for this project.

The facility itself will be almost 20,000m2 and will be the UCB group’s first large-scale biotechnology production centre when it becomes operational in 2015.

Along with our biologics pilot plant in Braine, it says a lot about our future direction and optimism for the years ahead.

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