Takeda invests nearly $300m to expand Belgium plasma-derived therapy site

The close to $300 million expansion will include a manufacturing facility and a carbon net-zero emissions warehouse in Lessines, Belgium, says Takeda.

The firm announced its biggest investment to date in Belgium during the 50th anniversary celebration at its manufacturing facility in Lessines and according to Takeda, the investment signals the importance of Belgium as a location for the worldwide production and distribution of plasma-derived therapies.

“Takeda is building on an 80+ year pioneering legacy in producing plasma-derived therapies. The global patient needs for these therapies, particularly immunoglobulins (IG), has increased significantly over the last 20 years, and continues to grow,” said Giles Platford, president plasma-derived therapies at Takeda.

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“The projects announced today will enable us to potentially help tens of thousands more people who have no – or very few – treatment alternatives. This investment reinforces Takeda’s leadership in plasma and our commitment to patients with life-threatening and life-changing conditions.”

According to Takeda, plasma-derived therapies are typically used to treat individuals with rare and chronic diseases like immunodeficiencies, hereditary angioedema, and bleeding disorders. Furthermore, the company claims the Lessines plant can treat over 300,000 patients a year and specializes in packaging capabilities for a range of plasma treatments and purification and filling of plasma-derived therapies.

A spokesperson for Takeda told BioProcess Insider that it will not necessarily hire new employees, but the expansion does require “new skill-sets [and] therefore we will need to up-skill our employees.The new purification line will replace an older line we have at the site and who will gradually be decommissioned.”

“The facility building will be watertight by end 2023, but we will have to wait for all the necessary tests and approvals to start full time production. It will be up and running for production by end of 2026,” the spokesperson said.

Sustainable processes

Takeda says that part of the investment is to do with its global effort to use technologies in sustainable ways at its manufacturing facilities.

“For 50 years, this site has been transforming human plasma into life-saving and life-sustaining medicines,” said Thomas Wozniewski, global manufacturing and supply office at Takeda.

“Our Lessines site is an important part of our global manufacturing network. The significant investment in Lessines announced today will strengthen the digitalization of our manufacturing sites where innovation plays a key role in creating a sustainable production environment.  The new state-of-the art production facility will have an even higher output capacity and will be even more data and digital driven. Furthermore, we pay additional attention to minimize its environmental footprint at the site: thanks to a high-tech water recycling system we will be able to reduce the freshwater consumption by 90 percent by 2023, and the facility will be 100 percent self-sufficient in electricity.”