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Sanofi is channeling another EUR 120 million into its biotech plant in Geel, Flanders. There, the French biopharmaceutical company will set up a new high-tech production line for an innovative biological drug that will improve the quality of life for hemophilia patients around the world. What’s more, the investment will position the Flanders-based site as a pioneering plant for the production of complex biologics used in the treatment of a range of immunological and rare diseases. Construction started on 19 October 2022, a kick-off in the presence of Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon.

An ideal hub for biopharma innovations

Established in 2001, Sanofi’s state-of-the-art production facility in the city of Geel, Flanders, has longstanding expertise in the manufacture and distribution of biological drugs or biologics for immune disorders – such as the severe skin condition atopic dermatitis – and rare diseases – such as the muscle- and nerve-damaging Pompe disease. 

Through extensive R&D and innovation, for which Flanders’ world-class life sciences industry is the ideal fertile ground, the French company has perfected complex production methods to cultivate therapeutic proteins that are used as active ingredients in life-saving medicines.

Now, Sanofi once again has chosen its top-notch plant in Geel to set up production for its latest generation of biologics. The site is one of Sanofi’s four main global biotech production facilities around the world. 

The expertise of our people and the excellent reputation of our Geel site in complex biotech production processes have once again ensured that major investments are coming to Flanders.

Julien Moindrot
General Manager of Sanofi Geel

High-tech production line

With its investment of EUR 120 million in Flanders, the biopharma multinational will expand its Geel site to accommodate the highly specific operations needed to produce a therapeutic protein for the treatment of hemophilia, a rare blood disease.

The brand-new production line will be composed of fully digitized systems and equipment which have intelligent software and sensors on board to flag maintenance issues. Prioritizing quality at all times, Sanofi is also setting up comprehensive training programs to develop and test new quality control processes.

Moreover, green initiatives at the Geel site – such as cleantech solutions to reuse water and monitor energy usage – will contribute to Sanofi’s ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Unique position as a pioneering plant

Since entering Flanders’ life sciences & health ecosystem in 1973, Sanofi has continuously been investing in its workforce, production processes and capacity in the region. In fact, a previous expansion project of the Geel site – which amounted to EUR 300 million – was awarded with Flanders Investment & Trade’s Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy in 2017.

The company is now firmly rooted in Flanders with four local facilities, employing around 1,600 skilled workers. The new expansion brings Sanofi’s total investments in the Geel site to a whopping EUR 1.1 billion since 2001.

With our new investment of EUR 120 million, we are further strengthening our presence in Flanders, which in addition to the manufacturing activities in Geel, consists of a European office in Brussels, a commercial organization in Diegem, and an R&D site in Ghent, the former Ablynx.

Johan Heylen
Managing Director Sanofi Belgium

Even more impressive is the unique role the Flanders-based site will play in the Sanofi group as a whole. As a fully-fledged pioneering and launch plant, the Geel facility will be able to produce the most complex biological medicines emerging from the companies’ R&D pipeline. 

Construction is underway

The installation of this new production line officially started on 19 October 2022 in the presence of Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon, who expressed his delight about Sanofi’s new investment and efforts “to anchor its world-class biotechnology activities in Flanders.”

The government in Flanders supports and collaborates closely with the life sciences industry to attract significant investments which put Flanders on the map as a top location for both production and R&D activities.

Jan Jambon
Minister-President of Flanders

Furthermore, Sanofi Geel’s general manager Julien Moindrot points out that governmental support “also played an important role in the decision to further expand our infrastructure and start the production of a new drug in Geel.”

In the company of reliable partners

Sanofi is just one of the many organizations you can partner with and rely on in Flanders’ ecosystem for life sciences & health. Curious to unravel this ecosystem in a virtual yet interactive way? Head to the Flanders360 platform and discover 300+ successful companies, universities, R&D centers, incubators and other players active in Flanders’ life sciences & health industry.

How Sanofi is part of Flanders' life sciences & health ecosystem

Reported by
press release Sanofi

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