40-44 Banu Antonache
Bucharest, 011665 Romania
UCB is a global biopharmaceutical company whose roots date back more than 90 years with decades of biotechnology know-how focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. Throughout our long and distinguished history, we have been led by dedicated and visionary individuals who have always aspired to be one step ahead and who have delivered success through high-quality products and services.
Emmanuel Janssen established Union Chimique Belge (UCB) in Brussels, Belgium, in 1928, primarily focusing on industrial chemicals. Our company also had a small pharmaceutical division based around the Meurice Laboratories. During the First World War, the scientists at Meurice pioneered a method to isolate and purify insulin. In the 40’s UCB supported the war effort manufacturing pharmaceutical products including calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, insulin and sulphamides.
In 1952 soon after UCB had been established a pharmaceutical research center the company made a string of breakthroughs, including the discovery of one of the world’s first tranquilizers, Atarax® (hydroxysine), a non-benzodiapenic tranqulizer.
During the next years our company consolidated its position focusing in expansion of R&D and creating the European network. In 1980 UCB registered its novel antihistamine Zyrtec® (cetirizine) – a brand that soon became a blockbuster with sales of more than $1 billion. The second blockbuster Keppra® (levetiracetam), a novel anti-epileptic marked the beginning of the Globalization era. By a series of acquisitions UCB broadened the presence in US and Asia (Korea, Thailand and Japan ).
Starting with 2004 UCB decided to focus solely on “biopharmaceuticals” – a combination of large, antibody-based molecules and small, chemically-derived molecules. With strong focus on specialists in CNS and immunology in Europe and in the U.S. as well as in Japan (partner: Otsuka), UCB is ready for the future – Becoming a next generation Biopharma.
The major launches:
Currently UCB is a global biopharma focused on severe diseases with operations in approximately 40 countries and global revenue of € 3.4 billion in 2012. A strong late stage pipline and more than 304 000 patients treated with UCB’s core products in 28 countries, including in emerging markets such as Russia or Brazil are the main arguments which led UCB’s transformation into a patient-centric biopharmaceutical company.