What we do

Leveraging our core strengths in scaling, production, and bioprocessing, we build businesses and find new ways to support access to medicines and promote sustainability.

Through entrepreneurship and technology-driven affordability, we address the needs of the entire health value chain.

Group Structure

Univercells Technologies

Univercells Technologies is a global provider of innovative biomanufacturing technologies to achieve cost-effective viral production from R&D to commercial scales. The company offers a comprehensive technology portfolio leveraging the strengths of process intensification and chaining as a direct answer to the growing demand of viral vectors and viral vaccines. Univercells Technologies is committed to helping customers increase performance with minimized footprint and costs today, while anticipating the needs of tomorrow. Building upon years of expertise and capitalizing on technology vetted by world leaders, Univercells Technologies was incorporated in Belgium in 2020 following its carve-out from Univercells with the support of the Univercells Group and Gamma Biosciences.

Exothera

Exothera is a uniquely positioned viral vector CDMO (contract manufacturing and development organization) that rapidly delivers affordable gene therapies and viral vector-based vaccines. As a Univercells company, Exothera capitalizes on novel manufacturing technologies and best-in-class bioprocessing expertise to provide bespoke process optimization and GMP clinical and commercial production of viral vectors. Based on its extensive technology expertise, Exothera select adapted technologies to optimally answer customer needs for cost effective and agile viral vector manufacturing.

Quantoom

Quantoom Biosciences is a biotech with the mission to deliver greater access and autonomy to bioproduction through innovation that will address some of the biggest production challenges in vaccines and therapeutics. As a Univercells company, Quantoom Biosciences provides open, integrated, affordable and (pre)clinically proven platforms to make biologics available for all. Our facilities are strategically located in Belgium, in the heart of Europe, benefiting from an exceptional biotech ecosystem.

Unizima

Unizima delivers international biomanufacturing projects from inception to technology transfer and validation, alongside operational support services (quality, supply chain, digital) and bioproduction training programs, as well as care centers and diagnostics surveillance centers.

Timeline

January 2013

Univercells creation

Experienced entrepreneurs Hughes Bultot and José Castillo establish Univercells in 2013. After several successes in the biotechnology and life sciences sectors, they seek the development of technologies to have a direct and meaningful impact on the way biologics are manufactured worldwide.

August 2015

Successful capital increase

After receiving its first substantial injection of capital by closing a €3M investment with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Limited, through its strategic venture arm Takeda Ventures, Inc., Univercells will work towards the expansion and evolution of its efforts and products to further revolutionize the biologics industry.

December 2015

Inauguration of Univercells labs

Univercells rings in the holiday as it toasts to the inauguration of its first laboratory established to pursue commercial development of its technologies in the i-Tech incubator in Gosselies.

December 2016

$12M grant to develop a vaccine platform

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation granted $12M to establish a micro facility for inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV) that can deliver 40 million doses of trivalent vaccine per year at a manufacturing cost of less than $0.15 per dose. The development is to be performed by a consortium which also includes Batavia Biosciences and Natrix Separations.

January 2017

Recombinant platform development

With the viral platform now under commercial development, Univercells focuses on the second pillar/application of its technology – its recombinant proteins platform

June 2017

Inauguration of extended facilities and labs

Univercells’ continued and fruitful advancement allows it to grow, facilitated and accompanied by the expansion of its facility space in Gosselies’ Biopark. The extended labs, now encompassing three times the initial space in the Biopark, boosting its overall capabilities, hosts the development of its recombinant protein technology.

December 2017

€3M Series A2 funding

Capital increase led by US & EU-based equipment development and vaccine industry executives, and Belgian entrepreneurs. This capital accelerates development and commercialization of the company’s platforms and solutions, aiding its viral platforms’ commercial roll-out and its recombinant platform completion.

January 2018

€2.4M grant from Walloon region

The Walloon government grants Univercells €2.4M to launch its “Universimilar” program that focuses on the design of next-generation production technologies to reduce manufacturing costs, deliver large quantities and answer the growing market demand for antibodies. The resulting production units will be easily deployable worldwide, providing access to high-quality biologics to all.

May 2018

New facility in Nivelles

Univercells expands its activities and starts operations at its new Equipment Design & Production Center in Nivelles, Belgium. This new facility fosters the broader development of its successful manufacturing platform and lets visitors experience firsthand its micro-facility proof of concept to learn more about the groundbreaking impact of its innovative technology.

July 2018

€16M Series B funding

Series B financing round of €16M led by Global Health Investment Fund, joined by Korea Investment Partners, Inventures Investment Partners, impact Venture Capital, The Innovation Fund, and private investors federated by TheClubDeal SA. This support will enable the commercialization of diversified biomanufacturing technologies.

January 2019

Introducing the NevoLine™ platform

Univercells launches its proprietary NevoLine™ bioproduction system for vaccines that was initially developed as part of a $12M grant awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver affordable inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV). The consortium also received a $4M grant extension to scale-up the manufacturing system and process in preparation for clinical and commercial application.

June 2019

$14.3M grant to deliver affordable measles & rubella vaccines

Univercells has been awarded a new grant of $14.3 million by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase the availability of measles and rubella (M&R) vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Univercells will adapt the process design of its proprietary NevoLine™ platform to deliver affordable M&R vaccines.

October 2019

€20M EIB's loan to accelerate the vaccine portfolio delivery

EIB Financing will support the development of four essential and undersupplied vaccines to be produced at affordable prices, high quality and large volumes. The portfolio – including polio, measles and rubella, and rabies vaccines – requires significant investment in process development through clinical and regulatory validation.

February 2020

€50M to speed delivery of manufacturing technologies

€ 50M financing from Gamma Biosciences, a new investment platform supported by leading global investment firm KKR. The investment will be deployed on accelerating the industrialization and commercialization of the NevoLine™ biomanufacturing platform and the scale-X™ bioreactor portfolio.

February 2020

Launch of Univercells Technologies

This newly created subsidiary focuses on the commercialization of the product portfolio - the scale-X™ bioreactor portfolio and the NevoLine™ platform - and will explore new technology developments to expand its position in the cell and gene therapy market.

March 2020

Launch of CDMO Exothera with 15,000m² GMP capabilities

Univercells launches Exothera, a Univercells company, to support cell & gene therapy developers with process development and production of viral vectors. The CDMO will help to alleviate the two most critical challenges manufacturers face: a structural lack of capacity and scarcity of bioprocessing expertise.

April 2020

European consortium for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine

ReiThera, LEUKOCARE and Univercells, announced a strategic collaboration for the development and large-scale manufacturing of a novel adenoviral vector-based vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine candidate is expected to enter clinical trials during summer 2020 with large-scale vaccine production planned to start soon after.

April 2020

Launch of Exothera

Exothera is a uniquely positioned viral vector CDMO (contract manufacturing and development organization) leveraging standard and innovative bioproduction platforms to deliver affordable cell and gene therapies.

December 2020

€ 70M to support the development of GMP facilities.

Univercells raises €70 million with two rounds of capital increase with new investors. The capital infusion will support the development of GMP facilities and the capacity to foster distributed manufacturing and supply of biologics. Investment proceeds will support establishing GMP capabilities at two sites in Jumet. The financing will also develop Univercells’ capacity to support distributed manufacturing and supply of biologics.