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New biotech base opens its doors

Posted by
France Nivelle, Global Communications & Change Support
Today is a landmark day for UCB which sees the opening of our new pilot biotechnology plant in Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium.

The plant, which is one of the first plants in Belgium to produce cell culture-based therapeutic proteins, was opened at a ceremony attended by Jean-Claude Marcourt, Vice President and Minister for the Economy of the Walloon Government; Jean-Marc Nollet, Walloon Minister for Sustainable Development; André Antoine, Vice President and Minister for the Budget of the Walloon Government; Vincent Scourneau, Mayor of Braine-l’Alleud; and Roch Doliveux, UCB’s CEO.

Dr Doliveux pointed out that 33% of medicines used to treat people around the world today are of biological origin and represent more than half of UCB’s current R&D pipeline. Embracing biotechnology has already enabled the company to develop new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, and to work on potential therapies for ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus and osteoporosis.

Having our own plant is an important part of the company’s strategy. It will help to more rapidly initiate clinical studies of new antibody-based therapeutics that are addressing serious unmet medical needs.

The plant is the result of an investment of more than €65 million and demonstrates UCB’s commitment to consolidating our biotechnology base. The plant is central to our efforts to plan for the future and will enable us to meet growing demand for ‘biological’ therapies and reflects our ongoing investment in R&D. UCB is the largest Belgian investor, across all categories, in R&D, according to the European Commission’s annual classification.

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