Univercells was honored by the visit of Minister-President Elio Di Rupo, Minister Willy Borsus, Minister Christie Morreale, and the Operational Directorate General for Economy, Employment and Research (DGO6) on its sites in Nivelles and Jumet.
Univercells, a Belgian biotech company dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to biologics everywhere in the world, was visited today by Ministers Christie Morreale, Vice President and Minister of Employment, Training, Health, Social Action, Equal Opportunities and Women's Rights; Willy Borsus, Vice-President and Minister of Economy, Foreign Trade, Research and Innovation, and Elio Di Rupo, Minister-President of Wallonia and representatives of the DGO6 of the Public Service of Wallonia.
The goal of the visit was multiple. On the one hand, to show the tremendous growth of Univercells, by presenting the different affiliates of the Group and the booming production sites. On the other hand, to thank the Walloon Government for the regional aids obtained since its creation in 2013. Indeed, since the beginning of its activities, Univercells has been able to count on the financial support of Wallonia. Thanks to this support, in particular, many jobs have been created within the Group, which already counts more than 500 employees. The grants have also enabled Univercells to invest in research and development activities and to start production activities at its new viral vector facility in Jumet in February 2022. In total, Univercells has already benefited from more than € 17 million, for affiliates.
The ministerial visit began with a tour of Univercells Technologies in Nivelles, the home of the Group's activities. Univercells Technologies, an affiliate of the Univercells Group, has positioned itself as a global provider of advanced viral bioproduction technologies, whose portfolio includes the scale-X™ line of single-use bioreactors and the NevoLine™ integrated production platform. This portfolio of breakthrough technologies is in line with Univercells' original mission of "biologics for all," or making biologics accessible everywhere in the world, by enabling efficient production of vaccines and gene therapies.
The delegation then moved on to Quantoom Biosciences, located a few meters away. This affiliate is led by José Castillo, one of the co-founders of Univercells, and aims to improve access to essential vaccines and therapies through innovative biomanufacturing methods. Its mission is to remove the barriers to making mRNA-based vaccines & therapeutics, at every stage from sequence up to mass production.
Finally, the visit ended with Univercells' affiliate Exothera's in Jumet where a state-of-the-art viral vector production site is located. The site was awarded GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification a few days ago and now has 2,100 m² of GMP-certified production areas on a site with a total area of 8,600 m². With this new extension, Exothera becomes one of the largest viral vector production plants in Europe.
During the visit, the delegation was able to discuss the prospects of the Group and the Walloon biotech ecosystem which is growing exponentially.
Hugues Bultot, CEO and co-founder of the Univercells Group, and José Castillo, CEO of Quantoom Biosciences and co-founder of the Univercells Group,j mentioned: "We are very pleased with this ministerial visit. Since the creation of Univercells and our first offices in the BioPark of Gosselies, we have come a long way. Throughout, we have always been able to count on the support of Wallonia and we are grateful to them. Therefore, to be able to show the new installations of the Group, our production sites and our affiliates in full expansion is a real honor. More projects will be completed soon and we look forward to continuing this fruitful collaboration together."
Read the French version of the press release here.
Read the Dutch version of the press release here.