Companies involved in bio-pharmaceuticals are planning to create 300 new jobs this year at the BioPark complex at Gosselies in Charleroi.
The jobs will mainly be in the production of bio-products – biological substances that are important in many new medical therapies, including immunotherapy, where the body’s own immune system is recruited in the fight against diseases other than infections.
The coronavirus Covid-19 has placed many jobs at risk, but on the other hand the rush to find a vaccine to combat the disease has been a spur to many companies in the pharmaceuticals sector.
Among them Univercells, which with its subsidiary will create dozens of jobs in its partnership with two other European companies and their research into a vaccine. The company recently raised €16 million in investment capital.
AstraZeneca is one of the companies most advanced in its search for a vaccine, working together with Oxford University and Emergent BioSolutions.
Now Novasep, one of 80 companies in the sector based at BioPark, will produce one of the active components of the candidate vaccine. The actual production facility is in Seneffe.
That project was already planning to take on 45 staff; now 100 more will be added.
Elsewhere local job creator Masthercell, now taken over by Catalent of the US for $315 million and a producer of living cells for use in immunotherapy, plans to take on 300 new staff this year alone.