Takeda Belgium’s new production line was launched at its Lessines site in late August 2021. It is dedicated to therapies for patients with complex and chronic diseases, including Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD). The company offers patients and healthcare professionals a wide portfolio of products in therapeutic areas that can be as challenging as oncology, gastroenterology and rare diseases. The new production line, equipped with cutting-edge digital technology, has created 100 local jobs, for an investment of €118m.
Excellence in immunoglobulin purification
What shows the strategic role of the Lessines (Hainaut, Wallonia) manufacturing site for the whole Takeda Pharmaceutical Company: with more than 1,200 employees, Lessines is the group’s third-largest production site, and a centre of excellence for immunoglobulin purification.
The buildings on the site cover 18,000 m2 and the plant operates 24/7. It is flexible, with packaging facilities for plasma-derived therapies and conditioning capacities for hematological products. The Lessines site also hosts an R&D unit focused on improving purification processes.
“Takeda Lessines has a legacy of nearly 50 years of continuous and sustained investment by local, state and federal governments. We will continue our efforts and look to the future with optimism, ready to partner with all those who share our ambition: to provide better care for patients, develop our people, and preserve the planet”, says Geoffrey Pot, General Manager Operations at Takeda Lessines and Chair of bio.be, the Belgian federation representing companies that are active in the biotech and life sciences industry.
“Thanks to a fruitful collaboration among academia, public authorities and businesses, Belgium plays a strategic role in R&D, manufacturing and the distribution of new treatments”, Pot adds. Takeda can count on the dedication of Wallonia to provide top talents for the biotech sector. In early 2022, the region will start the construction of the European School of Biotechnology & Health Hub in Gosselies, to combat the staff shortages this rapidly expanding sector is facing.
Reducing the environmental footprint
Takeda’s manufacturing site in Lessines is pioneering wastewater treatment in the pharmaceutical industry. The facility installed a water treatment system which will be used to provide more water for the drug production process, thus cutting the consumption of water by up to 90% by 2023, and reducing the amount of chemicals needed for water treatment. And Geofffrey is keen to emphasise that that’s not all. "We’ll also keep on investing so that we can reach our climate goals and cut the carbon emissions from all our activities in Lessines to zero.” Indeed, the site already boasts 8,000 solar panels.
Key figures : 1,200+ employees - 8M+ vials packaged - 5,000 batches released - 80 countries - €118m of investment in 2021