BESIX: first stone is laid on global biopharmaceutical company UCB’s new development and manufacturing facility in Belgium

On 28 September, the construction of the Genesis facilities was officially launched by Client UCB, the Brussels-based global biopharmaceutical company, in the presence of Willy Borsus, Vice-President and Minister of Economy, External Commerce, Research and Innovation of the Walloon Region.

UCB awarded BESIX the contract to build these new facilities in Braine l’Alleud, Belgium, last March and the building is expected to be operational in 2024.

The 17,000 m² facilities being built by BESIX are designed to accommodate particularly innovative services and comply with highest environmental standards. They will house cutting-edge laboratories and development facilities, production areas, and office spaces. One of its special features is also the flexibility of the building, with the possibility of easily reconfiguring the interior spaces.

The new facilities are part of UCB’s wider strategic development plan to provide Gene Therapy capabilities, including laboratories and production facilities, at its Braine l’Alleud site. This new biotechnology facility, one of the largest and most modern in Belgium, is being built to support the company’s growth and prepare for the launch and long-term supply of future drugs currently in clinical development.

The Genesis building for UCB illustrates once more BESIX’s expertise in the building of state-of-the-art facilities for the pharmaceutical sector. BESIX has currently several other major pharmaceutical projects in its portfolio, as for example: the construction by affiliate Vanhout of a new production facility and warehouse for CAR T-cell therapy cancer treatment on behalf of a global pharmaceutical player in Zwijnaarde (Belgium) and the construction and commissioning of a new AU$800m large scale vaccine and anti-venom manufacturing facility in Melbourne (Australia) on behalf of one of the world’s largest influenza vaccine companies, by affiliate BESIX Watpac.

Alexandre Duthoit, Project Manager BESIX: “We are extremely proud that UCB has entrusted us with this complex project. We opted for methods that meet the company’s priorities, combining the required high quality with a fast construction process, based on the use of prefabricated concrete elements, and of course high safety measures. UCB can count on BESIX’s expertise, particularly in the construction of demanding buildings adapted to high-tech activities, to deliver the new facilities according to its expectations. We are very happy also to be contributing in our concrete way to UCB’s commitment to continuous innovation and laying a foundation for future success in gene therapy.”