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Reinventing UCB: New directions, new plants and new talent

Jacques Marbehant, Manufacturing, Engineering & Health, Safety & Environment
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Jacques Marbehant, Manufacturing, Engineering & Health, Safety & Environment
To transform the lives of people living with severe diseases in immunology and neurology, we too must transform. We must keep innovating, reinventing ourselves and adapting to the trends around the world. We want to tap into the latest scientific advances and best talent. Only then can we develop the best life-changing therapies to help our patients live their lives to their fullest.

Over the years, UCB has moved from small molecules to biologics and peptides. We recently announced our first steps into gene therapy. Gene therapy will fundamentally change how we treat diseases, moving us from symptomatic treatments to disease modification and eventually towards a cure. It offers enormous potential for massively transforming the lives of people living with severe diseases.

Transforming our Braine l’Alleud site (South of Brussels)

In addition to moving into gene therapy, we’re also transforming our sites, organization, and infrastructure for the future. Take the multi-product biological manufacturing facility we’re building on our Braine l’Alleud site in Wallonia, Belgium.

The Braine l’Alleud site was formerly a high-volume, lower-value site mainly focused on small-molecule and chemistry. Then, ten years ago, we started investing in our first BioPilot plant, with chemistry, manufacturing and control capabilities for biologics. Our new manufacturing facility represents a significant new step on that journey, transforming Braine l’Alleud into high-tech and high-value site.

Construction of the large-scale facility started in 2020, and we expect the new facility to be operational in 2024. The plant itself will be highly modern, green by design and with a significant digital integration. It will provide the facilities we need at the scale we need to launch and supply the medicines we currently have in clinical development – and we have a rich pipeline of biologics that we plan to launch between now and 2025.

Building our expertise and talent

I am incredibly proud of how our dedicated staff have made our journey towards biologics manufacturing possible, investing their time in developing new competencies and enriching the diversity of thoughts and approaches to increase our agility. Simultaneously, we also need to continue building skills and expertise as biologics and dealing with high-value materials requires specific competencies, complex data analysis and robust quality management.

When it comes to biologics, innovation and sciences unveil an unlimited landscape , as does digitalization. It’s an area with a lot of opportunities. And maximizing the value we gain from data and taking that process to the next stage is a huge opportunity before us today.

We expect to create more than 150 new, high-skilled jobs once our new manufacturing plant in Braine l’Alleud becomes fully operational. That’s why we’re on the lookout for talented, inspired, daring and engaged individuals who, like us, have an ambition to create value for patients. We have unique opportunities and exciting positions waiting for anyone who wants to be part of our journey as we prepare for our next biopharmaceutical product launches.

Talented people with the right skills and expertise are critical if UCB is to deliver on its mission to be an innovative pharmaceutical company. UCB has a fantastic opportunity to create a better world for people living with severe disease. Join us!

Meet our experts on March, 23 and 30 during the Essenscia Job Days to hear more on digital manufacturing and gene therapy. Find out more about our job opportunities here


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Posted by Emmanuel de Ryckel, 19 March 2021

Wonderful challenge. Go ahead