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New biotech plant: welcome to the future

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    UCB has opened its new biotech plant – one of the largest and most modern sites in Europe. The new facility in Bulle, Switzerland, will enable us to respond to the needs of hundreds of thousands of patients with severe diseases. The new production unit represents a total investment of around €250 million euros.

    Measuring around 20,000m2, it is UCB’s first industrial-scale biotechnology production centre. It will produce an innovative therapy which treats the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and various indications of rheumatoid arthritis.

    Regular readers of this UCB magazine will recall that architectural design plans were finalised in 2011 and construction began in 2012. Now, 30 months after building work began, the plant has been formally opened. The first batches will be marketed in 2016 following validation by the international health authorities.

    The opening of the new site means a lot to us. It represents the company's ambition to produce antibody-based therapies to improve the lives of patients, and illustrates UCB's transformation over the past decade into a global biopharmaceutical player.

    It also marks a new chapter in UCB's relationship with Bulle. The company’s connection with Bulle goes back 18 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.

    Until now, UCB's production capacity in Bulle has focused exclusively on chemical production but we are now adding a new dimension; a new range of possibilities. The chemical and biotechnology units will work side-by-side on the same campus which, over time, will employ more than 350 people.

    The biotech plant allows us to increase production significantly and respond to patients' growing demand for high quality therapies. It represents our commitment to harnessing scientific expertise to deliver for patients, embodying what UCB is all about: 'Inspired by Patients. Driven by Science'.

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Posted by Michael Southcott, 23 October 2014 Congratulations, and good luck for the future.
best wishes from
Michael Southcott