I am very proud that we have already invested more than EUR 900 million in our Belgian sites over the past two years. This is a recognition of the expertise and know-how of our employees in Belgium.Patrick Florent, Managing Director of GSK Vaccines in Belgium
Founded in 1958, Belgium is the heart of GSK Vaccines. With three major vaccine sites in Wallonia, Wavre, Rixensart and Gembloux, including the global headquarters from the vaccines division of the group, GSK represents the largest industrial network of vaccines worldwide. Out of its 3 Belgian sites, GSK produces more than 40 original vaccines and two million doses per day. Also today, GSK continues to invest in its sites in Wavre and Rixensart. This includes the creation of a new freeze-drying unit, a modern building with new laboratories, modular equipment and automated systems. Recently, GSK also announced a collaboration with IMEC to optimize the automation of production processes for biopharmaceuticals through nano-electronics, and in the long term to investigate the possibilities of nanotechnology for the production of vaccines.
UCB was founded in Belgium in 1928 and recently celebrated its 90 years of entrepreneurial spirit and passion for reinvention. Today, UCB is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. Over the years, the company has continued to invest in its biomanufacturing activities in Wallonia. With 2 new investments on its way, the company paves the way for the future. By 2024, both a new biologics pilot plant and a gene therapy process development and clinical manufacturing facility will be operational on their high-tech campus in Braine l’Alleud, Wallonia. The biotechnology plants will be one of the largest and most modern in Belgium.
Wallonia is a great option for international businesses because of its openness and easiness to working with others. In our industry, you can’t do it all alone – you need to find the right partners and attract a broad range of people. Because of a rich ecosystem, Wallonia is an excellent place to invest with a blend of exceptional talents, dense academic and entrepreneurship network, infrastructure and a vibrant industrial & SME presence. UCB employs people of 70 nationalities within the business. Diversity is vital to our success.Jacques Marbehant, UCB Global Head of Manufacturing and Industrial Investments
This Japanese biotech giant produces the plasma for its therapeutic products in Wallonia. At its site near the town of Lessines, Takeda continues to optimize its production process non-stop. This site is a center of excellence for immunoglobulin purification, with filling and packaging capabilities for plasma-derived therapies and packaging capabilities for hematology products.
In 2021, Takeda Belgium also inaugurated a new state-of-the-art biotechnology production facility at its Lessines site, manufacturing treatments for people with rare diseases and complex chronic conditions. Lessines is Takeda’s third largest production site in the world, it has over 18,000 m² of building surface and operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Mithra was founded in 1999 as a spin-off from the University of Liège. Since then the company has heavily invested and today Mithra is a recognized Belgian biotech company dedicated to transforming Women’s Health. Mithra also develops and manufactures complex therapeutics in the areas of contraception, menopause and hormone-dependent cancers. It offers partners a complete spectrum of research, development and specialist manufacturing at its technological platform Mithra CDMO. Mithra is headquartered in Liège and is active in more than 100 countries around the world.
The impossible becomes possible if you firmly believe in it. That’s why Wallonia is the perfect spot for investing in biomanufacturing. At Takeda, we believe in the know-how and capabilities of our people. Thanks to their innovative mindset, we are able to create the factory of the future, shaping our digital and sustainable future in Lessines.Geoffrey Pot, General Manager Operations – Site Head Takeda Lessines
Univercells was created in Belgium in 2013 with one mission: making biologics available to all. Since then the company has expanded its Belgian footprint with more than 500 employees from 30 different nationalities over its 3 sites in Wallonia (Gossielies, Nivelles and Jumet). Leveraging their core strengths in scaling, production, and bioprocessing, they design the next generation of bioproduction units to offer the best in class bioproduction capacity across the world. Today Univercells is made up of 5 companies (1 group, 4 affiliates).
Introduced in 1985 as a spin-off of the University of Liege in Wallonia, Eurogentec became a member of the international Japanese chemical company – Kaneka Corporation in 2010. Ever since, the company has developed proprietary processes and continues to expand its investments to offer cutting-edge products to scientists around the world. Kaneka Eurogentec is a one-stop-shop CDMO offering Plasmid DNA, linearization, and mRNA production. Its goal is to become the world leading CDMO for mRNA, as it already is for the production of plasmid DNA. Kaneka Eurogentec’s ultramodern and upgraded facility in Belgium allows the large-scale production of new generation of medicines. Eurogentec offers more than 10,000 m² of GMP production area at its 2 sites in Liège.
Belgium benefits from a longstanding ecosystem articulated around the creation and production of vaccines. Just name two of the historical actors, GSK, UCB. In Wallonia, the development of biotechnology and activities around the life sciences have been a priority for nearly 20 years. The ecosystem has been developed, professionalized, and the perspectives are multifold and varied. The building blocks are talents, the synergies, the infrastructure and the ambition of the public authorities supported by private investment. Local and international partnerships are a daily reality. This unique location is a real plus for Univercells and its biomanufacturing affiliates, a profound conviction as co-founder, poly-entrepreneur, born in Charleroi, in a region undergoing conversionHugues Bultot – CEO and co-founder Univercells
In March 2020, Univercells launched Exothera, a Belgium-based CDMO delivering customized process development and GMP manufacturing services for gene therapy and viral vector-based vaccines. Exothera’s activities are done out of its 2 buildings in Jumet, Wallonia. Its total capacity has recently been raised up to 8,600 m² (92,570 ft²), which makes Exothera one of the largest viral vector facilities in Europe. Exothera has already worked on more than 28 projects for clients in the EU and US and has the space available to develop a further 9,000 m² (96,900 ft²).
Thermo Fisher Scientific
With two locations in Seneffe and Gosselies, Thermo Fisher Scientific viral vector business offers more than 7,000 square meters of state-of-the-art clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity, to which they recently added a new unit for formulation and sterile bottling.
After several strategic acquisitions, Catalent’s European Center of Excellence in cell therapy is located in Wallonia. Their state-of-the-art facilities offer autologous and allogeneic platforms from process development to clinical and commercial cell therapy manufacturing. The site includes a 25,830 sq. ft. Clinical Manufacturing facility and a 41,000 sq. ft. purpose-built CGxP facility offering advanced clinical and commercial supply. An additional large-scale 60,000 sq. ft. commercial dedicated plant is currently under construction and expected to be fully commissioned in 2022.