The BioPark’s first spin-off

September 25th 2019

In 1999, Henogen was the first spin-off to set up shop on the Gosselies campus. It has since been bought by Novasep, for whom the BioPark remains a strategic location.


Before its acquisition by Novasep in 2009, Henogen was active in the development and production of a wide range of biopharmaceutical products using cell culture and bacterial fermentation. The CMO(1) had been present for ten years at the BioPark, and had a production unit in Seneffe. Since then, Novasep has successfully refocused its activity on viral vectors and monoclonal antibodies. ‘We still have significant activity on both sites’, explains Pierre Lunel, General Manager of Novasep in Belgium. ‘Next year, we will open a new commercial ‘Fill & Finish’ production unit in Seneffe. Still, the BioPark remains a very important place for us.’


A comforting environment

All activities related to Process & Development are carried out at the BioPark. ‘About a hundred employees work there’, continues Pierre Lunel. ‘This is where we validate technology and process transfers, from the preclinical phase to clinical manufacturing. This is also where we meet our future clients for the first time. When they get to the campus, they find a place that gathers spin-offs, research laboratories, biotech service companies, and so on. They appreciate knowing we are in such a dynamic environment!’


A stimulating environment

The BioPark opens up many opportunities for collaboration. For instance, Novasep has already worked with Delphi Genetics for several clients. ‘Being neighbours, we can easily get together, discuss things and launch joint projects.’

Of course there can be some competition between companies at the BioPark, especially in terms of recruitment. But this is also one of the campus’s strengths: ‘With a high concentration of potential employers and a variety of professional opportunities, the BioPark has become a magnet for talented workers. A number of our staff members were actually trained in neighbouring companies or began their careers there, and vice versa.’


Two wishes for the future

Attracting and retaining talented professionals is the greatest challenge for companies at the BioPark. ‘In order to achieve this, we need more local services on the campus, such as restaurants, a fitness centre, a bank and so on.’ Another aspect that could be improved upon is accessibility and mobility, both around the campus and within its borders. ‘There are more and more people working at the BioPark’, explains Pierre Lunel. It’s getting harder to find parking spots, for instance. So parking is one issue that should be tackled.’

Good news: progress is under way! The BioPark Incubator 5 should address both concerns, as the project includes commercial space on the ground floor and an underground car park.



(1) Contract Manufacturing Organisation.


Author: Candice Leblanc