The pharmaceutical group is going to build a new facility devoted to gene therapy at its Braine-l'Alleud campus.
With recent years marked by a change in gene therapy, the construction of this new unit will help to bring about a fundamental change in the treatment of illnesses.
Despite the challenge of producing the viral vectors used in the frame of gene therapy owing to current processes, which are ineffective and costly, UCB intends to remedy the situation by enabling the group to take charge of the entire process. Thus, UCB will have complete control over the production chain, which not only will offer it a degree of flexibility but also a certain competitive advantage.
The construction of this 17,000 m2 unit should start in the second quarter of 2022 in order to be operational from 2024 and the pharmaceutical group plans to create 100 new qualified jobs following this investment. This will complete the new biological facilities which are almost completed and which already represent an investment of €300 million.
This gene therapy unit will be integrated into the UCB campus, "one of the most exciting places in Belgium for innovative minds and people determined to push the boundaries as far as possible and change patients' lives for the better", according to the pharmaceutical group.
If Wallonia counts a number of well-known names such as GSK, UCB, IBA or Baxter, some smaller innovative companies whose success is multiplying (Bone Therapeutics, Celyad, Univercells, MaSTherCell SA, Belgian Volition,...) have also demonstrated expertise that has rendered the region unmissable for the life sciences sector.