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A decade of transformation and innovation

Posted by
Scott Fleming, UK Communications
Ten years ago, a new chapter in UCB’s history was written when the company acquired Celltech, a British biotech firm. The acquisition marked an important moment for UCB, highlighting our commitment to bringing innovative treatments to patients.

It was a statement of ambition. In 2004, Celltech was one of Europe’s first biotechnology companies. It had pioneered advanced antibody technologies which were, even then, offering hope for millions of patients with severe diseases.

It fit well with UCB’s strategic direction. Back then, in addition to our expertise in small-molecule pharmaceutical chemistry we were developing a strong interest in biotech. Adding Celltech’s strengths to our own was part of our journey to becoming one of Europe's leading biopharmaceutical companies.

Fast-forward 10 years and that pioneering approach to delivering breakthrough medicines remains at the heart of UCB’s research activities and has helped to create an impressive early- and late-stage pipeline.

Today, UCB is still driven by science – as can be seen in the company’s continued investment of close to 25% of annual revenue in R&D. In the UK alone, UCB has significantly increased its R&D expenditure from £84 million (€104m) a year in 2003 to £142 million (€175m) in 2012.

Our willingness to collaborate is also still evident in our partnerships with academia, government and private partners. This open innovation model is fueling numerous exciting new approaches to drug discovery, drawing on basic science, new advances in the field of biology, and the big data revolution.

Looking ahead to the next decade, UCB’s expertise in antibody and small molecule research is being harnessed to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and osteoporosis.

Inspired by patients, driven by science, our drug discovery teams are contributing to scientific understanding and to the future of medicine. While we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the acquisition of Celltech, we can be confident that many more chapters remain to be written.

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