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Taking the lead in producing the pharmaceuticals of tomorrow. That’s the ambitious plan of UGent, one of Flanders’ leading universities. A new test center in Zwijnaarde (Flanders) is part of that objective. "We need to better align drug development with patient needs," says CESPE manager Wouter De Soete.

On an island of excellence

CESPE, the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Pharmaceutical Engineering & Manufacturing at Ghent University, plans to build a new test center and innovation accelerator for the pharmaceutical sector at the science park ‘Het Eiland’ in Zwijnaarde. It should be finished by the end of 2024 and will include cleanrooms, laboratories, and office space, as well as a (bio)pharmtech incubator.

In it to win

Professor Thomas De Beer of CESPE explains why the time is right for such an investment: “Flanders is ahead of the game in pharmaceutical production and clinical trials. To continue playing that leading role, we must also focus on innovation in the production of medicines.”

This vision is shared by Wouter De Soete, manager of CESPE: “The ambitions for the project aren’t slight. The main goal is to become the leading innovation hub in Europe for the end-to-end pharmaceutical production of tomorrow’s medicines.”

This test center will be a game changer, not only for academic research, but also for the pharmaceutical industry in Flanders.

Wouter De Soete
manager of CESPE

Focused on patient needs

The site will include labs with the very latest technology, which will allow a whole series of experiments to be carried out simultaneously. "When we produce pharmaceuticals now, we often still do so with old technology, such as large tanks and reactors," says Wouter De Soete.

"Focusing on innovation means we can produce medicine faster, safer and cheaper,” he continues. “We are also moving fast towards a future of more personalized medicine. The new center will allow us to better align drug development with specific patient needs.”

Discover the lab in full motion and action

Find out more about the pharmaceutical industry in Flanders: a tale of world-class production and top-notch R&D.

Reported by
website UGent

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