UCB has opened the doors to its 65 million euro biotechnology plant in Belgium.

The company says that the facility, located at its Braine-L’Alleud site, is "in line with its strategy, and in preparation for the growing demand for biological medicines". The plant will produce cell culture-based therapeutic proteins, developing UCB’s molecules for clinical trial phases, while manufacturing processes will also "be optimised to move from development to full scale industrial production".

Chief executive Roch Doliveux noted that "today, 33% of drugs for human use worldwide are of biotechnological origin and represent more than half of UCB’s current R&D pipeline". He added that "with this bio pilot plant, we will more rapidly initiate clinical studies of new antibody-based therapeutics". The facility, which will become fully operational during 2013, will have 100 employees.

Noting that in 2011, UCB was the largest Belgian investor in R&D across all industries, Mr Doliveux went on to praise the country's "proactive policy…to stimulate pharmaceutical activity", and this, "coupled with the presence of a highly skilled workforce, is creating a favourable climate for such investments".