Wed, 02 Oct 2019 11:00:02 CEST <![CDATA[UCB RSS Feed]]> <![CDATA[UCB at MDS 2019: Our proud mission to help patients with PSP]]> UCB at MDS 2019: Our proud mission to help patients with PSP]]>Posted by Alexander Klein, Patient Value Unit Neurology.

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare, seriously debilitating neurodegenerative brain disorder, marked by severe motor and cognitive symptoms such as balance and walking, speech, swallowing, vision, mood, behaviour and thinking.

As the name suggests, people with PSP often suffer rapid disease progression, having a life expectancy of approximately 6� years from symptom onset. The condition is characterised by a loss of brain cells, thought to be due to an accumulation of a misfolded protein called “tau� Importantly, there is no known cure available for PSP, and no treatments to slow down, halt, or reverse the inevitable cognitive-motor decline experienced. The only available treatment options for patients are to help to manage symptoms.

Given the urgent need to provide hope for individuals living with PSP, UCB is extremely proud to be participating in the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders (#MDSCONGRESS), September 22-26, 2019 in Nice, France.

Building on our long-standing heritage in Parkinson’s disease, the meeting provides us with a unique opportunity to engage with the global movement disorder community, to learn more about their needs, perspectives and experiences, and to reinforce our commitment to progressing treatment solutions for people living with movement disorders, including Parkinson's disease and PSP.

The UCB Tau Mission team will also be hosting a medical exhibition throughout the congress, providing insights into lived PSP patient experiences and sharing information from patient organisations around the world.

To find out more about PSP, click here

Read more about anti-tau antibodies in neurodegenerative diseases here.

<![CDATA[ITP Awareness Week: UCB proud to support global ITP community ]]> ITP Awareness Week: UCB proud to support global ITP community ]]>Posted by Blair Robertson, Patient Value Unit Neurology.

Given it is sometimes referred to as an ‘invisible illness� it might not come as a surprise that Immune Thrombocytopenia, or ITP as it is commonly known, often receives little public attention. A frequently debilitating condition, ITP is a rare, autoimmune disease affecting around 10 in every 100,000 people across the world, often in very different ways.

UCB is very excited to help shine a light on ITP by supporting the International ITP Alliance to spread the word about Global ITP Awareness Week (September 23 �27, 2019). This global movement aims to provide a voice to people living with ITP and create a deeper understanding of ITP around the world.

In people living with ITP, their body mounts an attack to destroy healthy blood cells or ‘platelets�resulting in wide-ranging symptoms including severe fatigue, bruising that may never go away, and spontaneous nose or gum bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding and increased risk for life-threatening bleeds. Due to fatigue and the increased risk of bleeding, ITP can be significantly life-limiting, where patients are unable to participate in things that mean the most to them, such as their careers, hobbies, and spending time with those they care about. As such, people living with ITP may become isolated and depressed, lose self-confidence, and be embarrassed by aspects of their ITP.

UCB is very proud to be working alongside the global ITP community - during this awareness week and beyond - to share and learn more about real-world experiences and perspectives of people and healthcare professionals living with and managing ITP every day.

We’ve created an infographic to help broaden and improve understanding of this often-hidden condition. You too can help spread awareness of ITP by taking a look at the infographic and sharing it here.

As a leading global biopharmaceutical company, with a rich heritage in developing immunotherapeutic solutions to support patients living with severe and chronic conditions, UCB is committed to applying our science, passion and knowledge and to working closely with the global ITP community to help improve outcomes and experiences for people around the world living with this condition.

Find more resources and ideas about how to support ITP Awareness Week on the International ITP Alliance website

<![CDATA[Osteoporosis �addressing the ‘silent epidemic�]]> Osteoporosis �addressing the ‘silent epidemic�]]>Posted by Scott Fleming, Global Communications & Company Reputation.

Experts consider osteoporosis to be a silent epidemic which is neglected and under addressed, according to new survey.

At UCB, we are committed to improving the lives of people with serious conditions. In addition to engaging with patients, we frequently work with health professionals to understand their perspective on how diseases are managed and what more could be done to deliver for patients.

In August, we launched a survey of European healthcare professionals specialising in bone medicine. Our goal was to investigate attitudes and perceived prioritisation of osteoporosis and fragility fractures in eleven countries: Germany, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. A total of 401 specialist healthcare professionals were interviewed online in August and September.

Most (82%) specialists said they believe osteoporosis is a ‘silent epidemic� yet only 24% said their healthcare system is adequately prepared to support people living with the condition. Two thirds (66%) agreed that osteoporosis is a ‘neglected condition�and just 10% think it is currently prioritised by their local health authorities. This is despite osteoporosis affecting 200 million people worldwide and resulting in a fracture every three seconds.

With osteoporosis rates set to rise as populations age, most specialists (90%) believe osteoporosis should be a public health priority, and 91% agreed that effective management can improve outcomes and reduce costs.

The majority (84%) of specialists also agreed that increased awareness and understanding of osteoporosis is needed for general practitioners (GPs), and only 32% believe that GPs refer suspected osteoporosis diagnoses in a timely manner.

Patient understanding of osteoporosis may also be lacking. More than half (53%) of specialists responding to the survey believe their patients view the condition as a short-term concern �despite clear evidence of its long-term impact on quality of life and independence.

These findings are of serious concern. Fragility factures can significantly impact people’s lives, yet policy makers, physicians and even patients may not appreciate the true burden of this disease.

UCB will continue to work with all partners to improve the effective management of osteoporosis and, ultimately, reduce the pain and suffering it causes. Together, we can break the silence.

<![CDATA[Diversity & Inclusion: Why it matters to UCB]]> Diversity & Inclusion: Why it matters to UCB]]>Posted by Laurent Schots, Global Communications & Company Reputation.

UCB has been named among the Top 25 companies in the 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Index. This reflects our continued efforts to ensure that our workforce reflects the wider community.

Diversity and inclusion matter here at UCB. We want to bring life-changing medicines to patients around the world and to play an active, positive role in the communities where we operate. It is vital that our teams are connected to our local and global communities; that we see ourselves in those we serve and that our patients see themselves in us.

This approach is good for our company. By embracing diverse talents, motivating our people, and leveraging diversity of thought and experience, we can maximise the value we create for patients.

That is why we strive to attract diverse talent to our teams and ensure that they have a path to career progression within the organisation. After all, diversity is nothing without inclusion: it is simply not enough to have a diverse workforce if this is not reflected at all levels within the company. Diversity has most value when it is matched with inclusion; when diverse voices are heard from the manufacturing line to the boardroom.

We are proud to see our efforts continuing to pay off. It was heartening to see UCB featured, once again, in the top 25 of this year’s Diversity & Inclusion Index which ranks the most diverse and inclusive workplaces across multiple industries.

The Index is compiled by Refinitiv, based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) data reviewed by trained analysts. The dataset draws on a range of public information sources to provide an up-to-date, objective and comprehensive measure of whether companies are living up to their promises of delivering great diversity and inclusion.

From this large data pool, 24 key metrics are used to score 7,000 listed companies under four pillars: ‘Diversity� ‘Inclusion� ‘People Development�and ‘Controversies� We hope that this data inspires talented individuals to consider careers at UCB, and that it shows the wider business community that we are a forward-thinking �and forward-acting �organisation.

<![CDATA[Can virtual reality make a real difference in arthritis? ]]> Can virtual reality make a real difference in arthritis?  ]]>Posted by Paul Atherfold, Patient Value Unit Immunology .

UCB is backing a new VR programme designed to improve education and care of people living with rheumatoid arthritis

Advances in medical science have helped us to bring life-changing medicines to people with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, communicating the complexity of disease and innovative therapies to patients can be challenging.

It is important that people being treated for autoimmune disease understand what is happening in their body and how their medicines help to address the problem. Not only are people entitled to a clear explanation of the medical care they are receiving, understanding how medicines improve symptoms motivates them to take their medication.

So, how can we address the challenge of improving compliance with medication prescribed by clinicians? At UCB, our commitment to innovation is not confined to drug development. We are constantly exploring how new tools can deliver value for patients.

That is why we are partnering with Cognitant to bring virtual reality (VR) technology to people with rheumatoid arthritis. Through a VR programme at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the UK, people prescribed medication for rheumatoid arthritis will be offered an immersive programme featuring virtual consultations with a consultant rheumatologist and nurse.

Developed in partnership with Cambridge Arthritis Research Endeavour (CARE), the programme will help patients to understand all aspects of their consultation, and in turn, better self-manage their disease. Patients will be offered an interactive explanation of their disease process and the mode of action used to treat it. The VR technology provides a 360-degree video demonstrating the administration of the medication, and a series of infographics and virtual objects to aid knowledge retention.

We are excited to learn how people using the technology respond to this innovative educational tool. Our hope is that it will help them to stick with their prescribed therapy and, ultimately, deliver better outcomes.

This collaboration represents a new approach to care in which clinicians not only recommend medication but also prescribe high-quality interactive health information. Doctors will provide patients with a link or a QR code allowing them to access an app which unlocks their VR experience.

The initiative also reflects UCB’s commitment to partnership. By working with a technology partner, a charity and a leading hospital, we aim to empower patients to take control of their health and live their best lives.

<![CDATA[Can virtual reality make a real difference in arthritis? ]]> Can virtual reality make a real difference in arthritis?  ]]>Posted by Paul Atherfold, Patient Value Unit Immunology .
Advances in medical science have helped us to bring life-changing medicines to people with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, communicating the complexity of disease and innovative therapies to patients can be challenging.

It is important that people being treated for autoimmune disease understand what is happening in their body and how their medicines help to address the problem. Not only are people entitled to a clear explanation of the medical care they are receiving, understanding how medicines improve symptoms motivates them to take their medication.

So, how can we address the challenge of improving compliance with medication prescribed by clinicians? At UCB, our commitment to innovation is not confined to drug development. We are constantly exploring how new tools can deliver value for patients.

That is why we are partnering with Cognitant to bring virtual reality (VR) technology to people with rheumatoid arthritis. Through a VR programme at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the UK, people prescribed medication for rheumatoid arthritis will be offered an immersive programme featuring virtual consultations with a consultant rheumatologist and nurse.

Developed in partnership with Cambridge Arthritis Research Endeavour (CARE), the programme will help patients to understand all aspects of their consultation, and in turn, better self-manage their disease. Patients will be offered an interactive explanation of their disease process and the mode of action used to treat it. The VR technology provides a 360-degree video demonstrating the administration of the medication, and a series of infographics and virtual objects to aid knowledge retention.

We are excited to learn how people using the technology respond to this innovative educational tool. Our hope is that it will help them to stick with their prescribed therapy and, ultimately, deliver better outcomes.

This collaboration represents a new approach to care in which clinicians not only recommend medication but also prescribe high-quality interactive health information. Doctors will provide patients with a link or a QR code allowing them to access an app which unlocks their VR experience.

The initiative also reflects UCB’s commitment to partnership. By working with a technology partner, a charity and a leading hospital, we aim to empower patients to take control of their health and live their best lives.

<![CDATA[#MaybeBaby: supporting young people in the UK and Ireland living with arthritis or psoriasis]]> #MaybeBaby: supporting young people in the UK and Ireland living with arthritis or psoriasis]]>Posted by Karen Borrer, BII Communications.

Being diagnosed with an inflammatory condition like arthritis or psoriasis at an early age can be a shock. It can leave some young people worrying that they will never visit the places they want to, have the job they dreamed of, find the partner they deserve or become a parent.

To support them in managing this concern and to help them ask the right questions at the right time, UCB has teamed up with Arthur’s Place, the award-winning social network in the UK for young adults with arthritis. Together, we are encouraging women in particular to think about their future life goals and discuss these with their doctor at an early stage.

For some young women, pregnancy and motherhood may be so far in their future they haven’t even considered it. For others, it’s something they think they will miss out on due to their condition.

However, for young women living with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis or psoriasis, motherhood is very much an option, which can be supported by asking questions, thinking ahead and planning treatment options with their doctor.

The #MaybeBaby campaign offers vital support at a crucial time in young people’s lives.  UCB has created a dedicated MaybeBaby section on Arthur’s Place. It features an animation about living with a diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis, expert commentary, and the Little Guide to Good Questions to help patients and clinicians start a conversation about managing the condition to maximise the patient’s life goals.

The project has inspired real-life stories from women with inflammatory arthritis which have been published in online lifestyle magazine Refinery 29, the UK’s number one digital female publisher.

An influencer marketing campaign with support from key figures on Instagram, an author and a blogger, is helping to raise awareness of MaybeBaby in the UK and Ireland. Launched in  May 2019, the campaign has reached more than 800,000, mainly young women, through social media interactions.

To complement the patient project, the MaybeBaby team has also developed resources to support healthcare professionals (HCPs) in asking their female patients whether they have future plans for motherhood.

At UCB, we see this MaybeBaby project as a valuable partnership delivering real value for the patient community at a time when they need it most. We look forward to supporting this rapidly-growing initiative as it continues to reach young people with inflammatory conditions.

<![CDATA[Life in the lab: Students sample life as a UCB scientist]]> Life in the lab: Students sample life as a UCB scientist]]>Posted by Karen Borrer, BII Communications.

What’s it really like to be a scientist working on medicines development? UCB gave school students a chance to find out.

The labs at our Slough site in the UK welcomed a group of 15 to 17-year-olds for four days of hands-on work experience as part of UCB’s annual Work in Science Week, designed to let students sample life as a scientist.

More than 80 UCB staff provided the 37 students with practical sessions covering topics ranging from protein purification and crystallography, to spectroscopy and virtual reality. The students also learnt about medical devices, patient safety, pharmacovigilance and marketing products.


The 26 girls and 11 boys, all studying science and interested in pursuing a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, came from local schools or through In2ScienceUK, a charity which seeks to enable young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to study science.

The aim of Work in Science Week, which has been running for seven years, is to highlight the wide range of scientific careers available in industry and inspire the next generation of scientists to consider a career in pharma.

This year’s students also met several of UCB’s apprentices who shared their stories of working in industry, including Martin Domville, an apprentice in Immuno-Bone Discovery Research who was a participant in Work in Science Week in 2013. Martin loved it so much he joined the company!

Perhaps some of those attending Work in Science events at UCB’s Slough plant will become the scientists of tomorrow.

<![CDATA[Walking the talk: thanks to UCB's strong financial performance, we are investing in future growth]]> Walking the talk: thanks to UCB]]>Posted by Antje Witte, Investor Relations.
UCB continues to invest in R&D �sticking to our ambition of creating value for patients

These days, just about every company talks about investing in innovation. At UCB, we have been doing so for some time now, and we match words with actions: we are walking the talk. UCB is, as planned, accelerating investment in R&D in areas where specific patient populations face unmet medical needs.

Our capacity to invest in our future is made possible by the great performance of our existing business. As the UCB Half Year Report 2019 shows, company revenues have reached â‚?.3 billion (+2%, +4% CER ). Net sales for the first six months of 2018 hit â‚?.2 billion. This delivered underlying profitability (rEBITDA ) of â‚?724 million (-9%, -1% CER) or a ratio of 31% - driven by higher marketing and selling as well as R&D expenses.

The report also contains some good news from our promising late-stage pipeline. 2019 has already seen two product approvals and the start of four new phase three trials in psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, drug-resistant focal epilepsy and myasthenia gravis. There were also positive phase three results for one of our core epilepsy medicines.

I’m particularly impressed by the launch of those four late-stage clinical programs over a six-month period. I cannot recall such a strong period of R&D activity in UCB’s illustrious nine-decade history.

The company’s performance in the year to date means we are in a position to confirm the 2019 financial outlook. Revenue is expected to reach �.6 - �.7 billion; recurring EBITDA should reach 27-29% of revenue; and core earnings per share is expected to be �.40 - �.80.

From my perspective, the UCB Half Year Report 2019 tells us that we are performing as expected and that we are meeting our commitments to invest in research and development that could deliver real value to patients. This means we are not only doing the right things in the present, but doing what’s best for the future.

All the best wishes to you �if you would like to chat with me, you know where to find me. Take care!

For more details, download our UCB Half Year Financial  Results or contact me directly:

<![CDATA[Can wearable sensors add value for Parkinson’s patients?]]> Can wearable sensors add value for Parkinson’s patients?]]>Posted by Babak Boroojerdi, Patient Value Unit - Neurology.

Digital technologies have the potential to monitor a wide range of patient outcomes, helping researchers to develop treatments that improve lives.

The global burden of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is rising. From an estimated 2.6 million people in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2015, the severe neurological condition is forecast to affect 12.9 million people by 2040 as global populations age.

There are a number of new medicines in the pipeline but researchers face several challenges in PD drug development. One of the key issues is the lack of precision in measuring outcomes. If we want to be sure that new therapies add value for patients, it is vital that we track outcomes that matter to them.

A promising way of doing this is to embrace digital technologies such as wearable sensors. These allow researchers to passively collect data during the day as patients go about their lives. Capturing both motor and nonmotor symptoms gives a more holistic picture of patients�symptoms and quality of life than the snapshot offered through doctor-patient interactions at a clinic.

However, despite rapid progress in digital technologies, there are gaps that remain to be addressed before they are ready for use in clinical trials. Through the Critical Path for Parkinson’s (CPP) initiative, UCB is working with other research-based biopharma companies, and engaging with regulators, to explore ways of incorporating wearables into PD research and care.  The CPP is a global public-private-partnership led by the Critical Path Institute (C-Path). UCB took part in a meeting with the FDA in May 2019 on the use of wearable technologies in Parkinson’s disease.

The WATCH-PD (Wearable Assessments in The Clinic and Home in PD) is part of this collaborative effort to study the role of wearables in Parkinson’s. The research is designed to generate a set of candidate objective digital measures that eventually can be used to complement standard clinical assessments in measuring the progression of PD and response to treatment.

The 12-month study of PD progression in subjects with early, untreated PD allows the collection of digital data which can then be analysed and discussed with regulatory agencies. Using highly-sensitive sensors, researchers can objectively measure validated clinical signs frequently and remotely, and compare this with standard subjective clinical assessments.

Continuous measurement removes the bias associated with testing in the clinic. It employs devices with which patients may already be familiar such as smartphones and smart watches.  

Our collaborative and innovative approach demonstrates UCB’s commitment to working with others and embracing new technologies from outside the traditional healthcare sector. We hope wearables will accelerate the development of new therapeutic options for people with PD �helping to improve quality of life by addressing outcomes that matter to patients.

<![CDATA[Cognitive impairment research: pushing the boundaries of neuroscience ]]> Cognitive impairment research: pushing the boundaries of neuroscience ]]>Posted by Emmanuel Lacroix, UCB Ventures.
People living with Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias and schizophrenia can suffer from cognitive impairment. This affects their memory, their ability to learn new things and concentration. It can limit their capacity to make decisions and live everyday life, often leading to loss of independence in severe cases.

Cognitive impairment is among the greatest areas of unmet medical need in society and it is rising. Our risk of dementia, for example, increases with age. As more people live longer, the number affected by cognitive impairment is likely to be higher.

The search for innovative therapies that can address cognitive impairment has led researchers to explore compounds that have a positive effect on brain activity. One potential treatment target is the synaptic vesicle protein SV2A, which plays an important role in the communication between neurons in the brain.

For UCB, this is an area where we have a strong record �this protein is also linked to epilepsy. Our research in this area previously led our scientists to develop two important anti-epileptic medicines used by patients around the world.

Our neuroscience research also led to the design of another class of small molecules that affect the SV2A protein. These novel SV2A modulators, although lacking anti-epileptic properties, have shown promising pro-cognitive effects in preclinical studies. This means that they may have the potential to improve cognition in people living with diseases linked to cognitive impairment �if the preclinical findings are confirmed in robust clinical data in the years to come.

Now, UCB has partnered with a group of Belgian and international investors to create a new company, Syndesi Therapeutics, to progress this promising area of research to the next stage. Syndesi Therapeutics has also gained additional funding from the Walloon Region, and has been working to further develop SDI-118, a novel SV2A modulator discovered by UCB.

We are pleased to see that SDI-118 has now entered a first-in-human Phase 1 study. This early clinical research investigation looks at the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single doses of the molecule in healthy subjects. Participants given the drug in the study will have blood tests and brain scans to help researchers understand its effect in the body.

If this proves successful, the research programme would move forward to studies looking at the effect of the molecule following repeated dosing and then on people living with cognitive impairment.

It is still early days, but we are encouraged to see Syndesi reporting progress in their work and excited to see what happens next. There is significant unmet need among patients with neurological disorders. UCB is pleased to support researchers aiming to bring forward new therapies that are of value to patients.
<![CDATA[Investing in innovation: why UCB Ventures backs cutting-edge science]]> Investing in innovation: why UCB Ventures backs cutting-edge science]]>Posted by Erica Whittaker, UCB Ventures.
 The pace of innovation in biopharma is accelerating dramatically. Over the past few years, there have been big leaps forward in areas such as gene and cell therapy, where decades of science are beginning to translate into new medicines. There is more to come â€?offering fresh hope for innovative therapies that will improve the lives of patients.

These innovations begin with a bright idea, often in a university lab or in the offices of a biopharma start-up. For UCB, supporting an ecosystem in which some of these sparks of ingenuity can become the therapies of tomorrow is important. It is also vital that, as a company focused on small molecules and antibodies, we remain plugged into innovation and disruptive technologies.

That is why UCB Ventures was launched in 2017. Our task is to explore some of the most exciting advances in science and technology, and to offer investment and expertise to those we believe show the most promise.


                                                                 The UCB Ventures' team

For early stage companies, venture capital is essential to validating their scientific ideas and developing their commercial potential. Without this support, the fruit of scientific endeavour would wither on the vine.

In return for backing start-ups at a time of high risk and uncertainty, venture funds typically receive equity in a company and can take a role on the company’s Board of Directors. In practice, this means that venture funds bring more than investment, they bring experience �a vital ingredient for science-based companies where commercial knowhow may be limited.

There are two key factors we look for when deciding whether to offer support. First, it’s about the quality of the science. It’s important that the company has validated their ideas in some way �perhaps in cells or animal models �and that it has real novelty. We want to see concrete evidence that their work has the potential to make a significant impact for patients in an area of unmet need.

Secondly, it’s about people. When UCB Ventures makes an investment, it marks the beginning of a long-term commitment. A close relationship between our team and the young company is essential for its chances of success. Young companies are typically driven by people passionate about getting their technology to patients. When this is matched with a willingness to take advice from experienced professionals, there is real potential to forge a partnership.

Partnership is essential too in our work with other venture funds. When we decide to support a company, it is usually in the context of an investment syndicate �a group of like-minded investors keen to roll up their sleeves and help a start-up achieve its goals.

These syndicates not only help to spread the risk, their diversity can bring real value to the table. For example, some venture funds have deep expertise in drug development, while others come with vast commercial experience or knowledge of technologies from beyond the health sphere. 

To date, we have invested in three companies �all in areas considered the most disruptive in biopharma. In StrideBio, we are working with a biotech company at the leading edge of next generation gene therapy. They are trying to figure out a way to improve tissue specificity, while evading the immune system, making gene therapy more effective and accessible.

At end of last month we announced our investment in  Rinri Therapeutics, a company spun out of Sheffield University. Their innovative stem cell research seeks to reverse neuropathic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). This form of hearing loss affects millions of people around the world, often having a negative impact on their quality of life. It results from damage to hair cells or auditory neurons in the inner ear, both of which are currently irreversible.

In May we also announced investment in Locana, a US-based start up working on RNA editing technologies that could offer new therapeutic options for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or motor neurone disease) �an area of considerable unmet need.

In all three cases, we are helping to catalyse innovation that has real potential. While we offer funding and expertise, we also bring a degree of patience to the equation. UCB has, in its 90-year history, a strong pedigree in investing for the future and looking beyond short-term gains. This has served the company �and patients �well, and we are pleased that UCB Ventures offers a new way for us to back a new generation of innovations.

<![CDATA[UCB takes the lead for her at EULAR and WCD]]> UCB takes the lead for her at EULAR and WCD]]>Posted by Andrea Christopher, Global Communications & Company Reputation.

UCB honored at EULAR 2019 meeting
UCB proudly received the FOREUM (Foundation for Research in Rheumatology) Platinum Recognition Award during the opening plenary session at this year’s Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2019) in Madrid (June 12 - 15).

FOREUM promotes health in people living with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases through effective research. Our ongoing partnership with FOREUM is critical for improving patient outcomes and furthering a more sustainable healthcare system.

Solving today’s complex healthcare challenges requires a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure effective and innovative medicines and technologies are available, accessible and affordable to all patients living with chronic rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Our partnership will further our ambition to bring novel solutions vital to improving existing care and quality of life for these patients.

UCB also showcased the depth of our immunology research with multiple presentations on the treatment of axial spondyloarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. We also presented patient research demonstrating the need to educate and engage women with chronic inflammatory diseases about their disease state and family planning.

Great presence at World Congress of Dermatology
UCB hosted a commercial booth and several key symposium sessions at The World Congress of Dermatology (WCD), in Milan (June 10-15). WCD is held every four years and attracts over 20,000 attendees interested in advancements in dermatology.

As part of our ongoing commitment to addressing unique considerations for women with psoriasis, UCB sponsored a symposium on the unmet needs of women of childbearing age with psoriatic disease, as well as meet-the-expert sessions on improving care for this important patient population. UCB also hosted a symposium on patient satisfaction in psoriatic disease and an evolved understanding of IL-17A and IL-17F, an important topic for improving psoriasis treatment.

Our achievements at both meetings are a strong signal to the community of our commitment to serving as partners in care, supporting patients, rheumatologists, and dermatologists dealing with challenging treatment situations and improving the clinical understanding of their needs. Our aim is to bring real world value to patients with significant unmet needs.

<![CDATA[Find your groove this Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month]]> Find your groove this Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month]]>Posted by Kenza Seddik, Patient Value Unit �Neurology.

So, because MG plays differently for everyone, UCB is encouraging the global MG community to speak with one voice for the first-time during MG Awareness Month this June. As a result, people living with MG from countries across the globe - Finland, France, Germany, Spain and the US - have helped to co-create the My Groove campaign to share songs and knowledge about the condition.

My Groove explores how music can help support people living with MG and be a way to bring people together. All the music shared on social media using #MyGroove will be collated into a public playlist of the sounds that comfort and empower people living with MG.
This activity is part of UCB’s commitment that nothing about patients�experience will be developed without actual patient involvement.

Pilar, from Spain, lives with MG. She commented: “One of the most difficult things with having MG is you can’t know what symptoms you might experience, or whether they will be mild or serious, from one day to the next. This variability can leave people feeling very alone. My Groove uses the universal language of music to bring people living with MG together and support them in good times and bad.�br>
Also from Spain and living with MG, Raquel said of her musical selection, ‘Qué bien�by Izal: “This song reminds me that our bodies receive lots of information through our senses, and this is something that myasthenia should not be allowed to diminish. We must try to be free to seize the day.�br>
MG is a rare, chronic, autoimmune, neuromuscular disease, where voluntary muscles don’t respond well to the signals from the brain.4,5 This leads to a range of unpredictable symptoms which can vary in intensity, and worsen as muscles are used. Common symptoms are muscle weakness, blurred or double vision, speech problems and overall fatigue. If the muscles affected are involved in swallowing and breathing, the condition can be life-threatening. The impact of MG on daily life can be severe.Findyourgroove

As part of the My Groove campaign, UCB has co-created an infographic with people living with MG, to raise public awareness of the condition. The infographic is available to view in its entirety by clicking here

Although there is currently no cure for MG, a number of options exist to help manage the symptoms. Whilst treatments are effective for most, they do not help all people with the condition.

This June, you can help turn up the volume on this rare disease. Follow the campaign on #MyGroove, share the MG infographic, and support those living with MG.

<![CDATA[How UCB can help ‘Women Deliver’]]> How UCB can help ‘Women Deliver� src=]]>Posted by Grace Xiao, External Engagement, Public-Private Partnerships.

At UCB, we focus on severe diseases that have significant unmet needs. By putting patients at the heart of everything we do, we aim to enable people to live their best lives, delivering impactful solutions to patients.

We recognize that women have significant and unmet needs when it comes to managing severe, chronic conditions. That’s why we engage in dialogues with patients suffering from these diseases to understand where we may be able to provide them unique value.

As part of this ongoing conversation, we will join more than 6,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists and journalists in Vancouver for the Women Deliver 2019 conference (3-6 June 2019). The event will be the world’s largest on gender equality and health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women.

Our values are closely aligned with Women Deliver in its drive to accelerate progress for girls and women everywhere. We are committed to sustainability, diversity and inclusion. This can be seen in UCB’s CSR programmes in Africa and China, as well as in our advocacy for women in leadership.

It is also reflected in our science. For example, our researchers conduct, where appropriate, additional studies to give women more information about the use of our medicines before, during and after pregnancy, and we actively promote bone health for women with our innovative science solutions behind us.

To share our work in these areas with Women Deliver attendees, UCB will host two side events during the conference. This first is a panel session (3 June, 9:00) focused on the issues faced by women of childbearing age.banners2_new

For women of childbearing age living with an autoimmune disease, managing their disease in pregnancy can create worry. UCB strongly believes that no woman should have to choose between her health and having a child. The side event aims to inspire attendees to spread this message globally, catalyse policy change, and empower women to have important conversations with their healthcare professionals to ensure they receive the support they need.

It will feature contributions from a range of panelists including representatives of advocacy organisations March of Dimes, the What to Expect Project, and Women Deliver, as well as medical experts and youth champions of reproductive health.

The second side event is entitled the Bone Gym: Movement for Change. Building on the Women Deliver Conference theme of ‘power� we will focus on the power in women’s bones. For women with fragile bones, power may feel like an impossible dream. A fragility fracture occurs every 3 seconds globally, but we are not powerless against these fractures. The Bone Gym is a uniquely interactive session that will show delegates how to build their strength and become a force for change for the women around them.

To attend our seminar, you don’t have to be wearing any special clothes, there’s no joining fee, and it doesn’t require any experience or fitness level �the bone gym is for everybody. All you need is enthusiasm. Whether you drop by for 15 or 45 minutes, you will get a lot out of this unique experience.

Our team of Bone Gym personal trainers features Elizabeth Thompson, CEO of National Osteoporosis Foundation (USA) and author Barbara Hannah Grufferman, who will demonstrate why we believe that bone health matters �and how you can help us in our mission to create better care for women with fragility fractures.

We believe in partnership. We very much look forward to engaging with other Women Deliver participants and continuing our dialogue about how we can provide a meaningful experience for women, based on our passion in creating patients' value.

<![CDATA[UCB: Proud to be part of the American Academy of Neurology Community]]> UCB: Proud to be part of the American Academy of Neurology Community]]>Posted by Jim Baxter, Global Communications & Company Reputation.
UCB colleagues from around the world are excited to attend the 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting.

This year, the meeting takes place in Philadelphia, USA, between May 4 -10, and provides a stage for the latest research and thinking to shared amongst the global neurology community.

UCB is proud to be hosting nine presentations at AAN 2019, illustrating our expertise, heritage, and commitment in this space. The breadth and depth of our data aligns with and reinforces our patient value driven approach to improving life for people living with neurological conditions.

We understand the extent to which neurological conditions like epilepsy can disrupt daily lives �for patients, for caregivers, and for family members.

UCB is committed to addressing this challenge. Whether by developing new medicines, improving access to existing treatments, or pioneering ‘beyond the pill�solutions, UCB is actively involved in numerous initiatives around the world to help people live life at their ideal.

Alongside data on our current portfolio of epilepsy medicines, and research focusing on the overarching epilepsy landscape, we are proud to be presenting data describing proof-of-concept and safety data for our developmental anti-FcRn Antibody  in patients with moderate-to-severe generalized Myasthenia Gravis As with all our research, our FcRn development program harnesses perspectives from patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals with first-hand experience of this condition to help us ensure our science addresses real world needs.

We’re excited to be participating in this important forum for sharing neurological research and thinking, and for the opportunity to engage with researchers, healthcare professionals and advocacy organizations from around the world to help shape and improve the outcomes and experiences for people affected by neurological conditions.

<![CDATA[Could anti-tau immunotherapy treat neurodegenerative diseases? ]]> Could anti-tau immunotherapy treat neurodegenerative diseases? ]]>Posted by Jean-Philippe Courade, Neurosciences TA Biology.
new research publication in Brain, co-authored by scientists from UCB and the University of Lille, looks at how antibodies could help to combat symptoms and potentially halt the degeneration of brain cells, seen in neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurodegenerative diseases are associated with so-called ‘tau tangles� Tau is a protein found in all brain tissue. In people with neurodegenerative diseases, tau proteins build up into tangles and are believed to interfere with normal brain function.

UCB has been working with leading scientists at Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical  Research, to study how anti-tau immunotherapy could improve the lives of people with these conditions. Their work, conducted in mice, has been published in a prestigious research journal. It evaluates two antibodies targeting tau proteins to determine their effects on disease onset and progression.
The study found that one of the antibodies effectively blocked the onset of disease progression in mice by preventing the formation of tau tangles. The antibody also prevented the spread of pathologic tau proteins to other parts of the brain in mice, which is commonly associated with disease progression. The same effect was not seen in mice given the other antibody that was tested.  

The paper is important because it shows not all anti-tau antibodies are equally effective and highlights a potential immunotherapy that warrants further research. The promising effects reinforce findings from previous invitro research, published last year in the prestigious journal Acta Neuropathologica, and further supports UCB’s commitment to moving ahead with clinical studies of its anti-tau immunotherapy candidate in humans.

The path from pre-clinical research to the patient is long and challenging. However, if an anti-tau treatment were identified and tested in rigorous clinical studies, it could be significant for people with tau-related diseases.

This field of immunotherapy, targeting extracellular tau protein, is a new and promising therapeutic approach that we are committed to pursuing in the years ahead. We are excited by the possibilities that lie ahead and look forward to sharing news of further developments.

<![CDATA[ Getting personal: improving the lives of people with skin diseases]]>  Getting personal: improving the lives of people with skin diseases]]>Posted by Matladi Ndlovu, Patient Value Unit - Immunology.
People living with inflammatory skin diseases often face a heavy disease burden and may experience significant physical and psychological discomfort, cycling through several therapies before finding an effective treatment. Despite many years of research, there are still significant gaps in the understanding of these diseases. UCB is committed to patients with inflammatory skin diseases, investing in underserved areas and breakthrough solutions that deliver unique outcomes.

To effectively treat people with chronic skin diseases, we must first understand the underlying causes and mechanisms of their symptoms, which in turn point us to who is going to develop severe disease and why. That is the goal of the first collaborative project in dermatology, dedicated to improving the lives of people living with the two most common inflammatory skin conditions: atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

The BIOMAP (Biomarkers in Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis) project, in which UCB will work with 26 academic, five patient organisations and five industry partners , aims to address the main unmet need of why some patients have significant morbidity and an increased risk for associated conditions such as arthritis and asthma, by analysing data from more than 50,000 patients. The project held its first meeting in London on 11-12 April, 2019.

With â‚?0.8 million of funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a major EU public-private partnership, this five-year collaboration will have a broad impact on disease understanding, patient care and future therapies.

The unmet need in dermatology is considerable. Atopic dermatitis and psoriasis affect more than 300 million people worldwide. These inflammatory conditions can affect people’s quality of life and are associated with an increased risk of arthritis and asthma; they are therefore a huge burden to patients families, care-givers and the healthcare system.

However, not all patients experience these conditions in the same way: there is variation in the onset, severity, progression and response to treatment of patients with these diseases.

The big question is why?

Scientists and clinicians working on the BIOMAP project hope to answer this by analysing the largest collection of patient data ever and performing advanced molecular investigations to identify biomarkers for variations in disease outcome.  This important initiative therefore hopes to provide new insights to facilitate early diagnosis and further understanding of disease progression.

The key to our shared success will be collaboration. By bringing together committed researchers with clinical, genetic and epidemiological expertise, and combing this with modern molecular analysis techniques and newly-developed tools in bioinformatics, we hope to move this field forward in the years to come.

If researchers can identify the molecular, genetic and environmental causes of variation in symptoms and disease progression, it may be possible to identify patient subgroups with different subtypes of disease, leading them to respond differently to therapy. That could take us towards a new model for disease classification which paves the way for a more individualised approach to therapy.

“The IMI Biomap consortium is an important initiative which will provide new insights to facilitate early diagnosis and further understanding of disease progression and is a step towards individualizing patient care. UCB is therefore delighted to participate as a partner co-leading several of the Biomap workstreams�said Emmanuel Caeymaex, Head of Immunology and Executive Vice President at UCB.

For more information on IMI Biomap, please check:

<![CDATA[Changing the patient engagement paradigm ]]> Changing the patient engagement paradigm ]]>Posted by Alexandra Moutet, Patient Engagement and Advocacy.
Patients should be considered as partners: developing solutions for patient should be conducted with patients.

Patients are playing an increasingly active role in the medicine development lifecycle. For example, companies and academics are engaging with patients to gather their perspective and even to co-create at key decision points along the medicine research and development continuum.

This makes perfect sense. By engaging with patients, researchers can ensure that they are trying to answer the right questions; by collaborating with patients in study design, companies can make drug development more efficient, of higher quality  and more patient-friendly; and by giving patients a seat at the table, regulators, payers and policymakers can contribute to build a patient-centred health system.

However, this approach is not yet mainstream. UCB is one of 34 industry and public players collaborating on the PARADIGM project designed to advance patient engagement focusing on three key decision-making decision points : research priority setting, design of clinical trials, early dialogue with regulators and health technology bodies. This 30-month project, running until August 2020, is funded through the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) �a major European public-private partnership. UCB sits on the Steering Committee.

Participants are drawn from patient organisations, regulatory bodies, HTA bodies, academia, non-profit organisations, EFPIA, pharmaceutical companies, along with subject matter experts. One of the unique elements of this broad consortium is its inclusion of the voice of young people living with a medical condition, people with dementia, and unaffiliated patients. It will also look beyond Europe and connect with global patient engagement initiatives through the PARADIGM International Liaison Group.

PARADIGM will address some of the barriers and gaps to patient engagement and produce the practical tools and guidance needed to accelerate the routine engagement of patients in medicines development.

The project’s core goals are to make patient engagement the norm, to  develop metrics and frameworks to measure return of engagement from the perspective of different stakeholders, and to find a way to ensure the sustainability of the patient engagement strategy developed for all stakeholders.

For researchers, industry, regulators and others, the patient community is a resource that has been underestimated  for too long. By engaging, we will make the system better equipped to serve the stakeholders that matter most: patients.

For patients, meanwhile, PARADIGM is a chance to help reinvent medical research to meet their needs. This is the essence of a symbiotic relationship �a genuine win-win opportunity.

UCB is fully committed to this approach. Together, we look forward to co-creating a roadmap for sustainable success, changing the culture of medicines R&D to focus on what matters to patients

<![CDATA[From Patient, To Science, To Solution]]> From Patient, To Science, To Solution]]>Posted by Scott Fleming, Global Communications & Company Reputation.

We discover and develop medicines to help improve human health. Today’s evolving scientific knowledge and advancing technical capabilities are providing unprecedented opportunities to match unmet patient need with breakthrough innovation.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the discovery story behind our new FDA approved medicine for women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. It’s a tale of inspiration from an extraordinary place, and how we turned a genetic discovery into a new medicine �it’s a journey from patient to science to solution.

This is a story involving NASA, mice in space and nearly three decades of research. It began with research that identified a new gene, which turned out to be the underlying cause of a genetic condition that results in bone overgrowth �sclerosteosis.

At first glance, osteoporosis and sclerosteosis couldn’t seem more different since osteoporosis patients have bones that become weak and brittle while sclerosteosis patients don’t produce sclerostin and their bones are thicker and stronger than normal.

As sclerosteosis is the opposite of osteoporosis, our scientists hypothesized that the defective gene in sclerosteosis patients could possibly encode a novel regulator of bone formation, amenable to pharmaceutical manipulation, which could lead to a potential new drug target for treating low bone mass disorders such as osteoporosis.

By combining reverse engineering and genomics our scientists were able to turn a genetic discovery into a new medicine.

<![CDATA[Improving the lives of people living with myasthenia gravis]]> Improving the lives of people living with myasthenia gravis]]>Posted by Blair Robertson, Patient Value Unit Neurology.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a long-term auto-immune, neuromuscular disease associated with skeletal muscle weakness. It can affect the muscles of the eyes and face, resulting in vision, speech and swallowing difficulties.

At UCB, we are committed to developing meaningful solutions for people living with serious conditions, including MG. That is why we are pleased to support the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) National Conference (March 30-April 2) in Atlanta, Georgia �close to our US headquarters.

The MGFA is the only national volunteer health agency in the United States dedicated solely to the fight against myasthenia gravis. MGFA serves patients, their families and caregivers. The MGFA Patient Conference is a key platform for highlighting the impact of MG, in the US. It has played an important role in raising awareness, improving understanding, and highlighting the need for improved management of this chronic autoimmune condition.

As a patient-driven event, the MGFA Conference ensures patient voices are heard and that a holistic view is taken of the condition. As reflected in the conference program, MGFA highlights clinical matters facing patients as well as quality of life issues such as sleep and general wellbeing.

This is a chance for us to immerse ourselves in the largest MG patient meeting in the world. We are looking forward to working with the Foundation to ensure that we address the needs of those who could most benefit from our solutions. UCB intends to develop our partnership with MGFA through a number of future projects.

Additionally, one of our senior Medical Directors, Ali Bozorg, will share insights from UCB’s research on a potential future therapeutic option for MG and describe how we’re engaging with patients and patient advocates on a forthcoming phase III study designed to move this medicine closer to the patient.

Alongside the conference, many of our colleagues will also be participating in the National MG Walk on the morning of March 30 �an annual awareness-raising initiative organised by MGFA.

Together, based on insights and engagement with patients and carers, we aim to deliver solutions that expand treatment options �for myasthenia gravis and as well as other serious medical conditions �which can fundamentally transform patient lives.

<![CDATA[Patient engagement key to improving epilepsy outcomes]]> Patient engagement key to improving epilepsy outcomes]]>Posted by Cédric Laloyaux, Patient Value Unit �Neurology .
Lancet Neurology.
The editorial asks why some people with epilepsy do not receive drug treatment, suggesting that some patients may not have confidence in their current treatment plan or diagnosis based on the dialogue between them and their healthcare professional. It also describes how these factors may contribute to poor outcomes.
The editorial goes on to suggest that, by allowing patients to participate in the clinical decision-making process, and by improving communication and patient education, it could be possible to improve treatment adherence and reduce the impact of epilepsy on patients�day-to-day activities.
These perspectives are very much aligned to UCB’s focus on improving patient outcomes through partnerships, our commitment to listening to patients and addressing their emotional needs, and our call to break down silos to create patient value.
UCB have recently embarked on a pioneering global initiative which aims to improve real-world outcomes for people living with epilepsy. The UCB Epilepsy Outcomes Project (EOP) features engagement with experts, patients and leaders in healthcare delivery innovation to focus on enhancing patient experiences.
By approaching the challenge of improving value from a variety of stakeholder perspectives, we hope to be able to provide recommendations and suggested models of care. This will help to deliver tangible benefits for patients and for the wider global epilepsy community.
This initiative will focus on three areas: communication gaps between patients and healthcare professionals about epilepsy and epilepsy treatments, factors leading to treatment gaps related to anti-epileptic drug selection initiation, and epilepsy diagnosis in emergency departments.
One key element of the project, the EXCEED (Enhancing eXpert Communication to Evolve the Epilepsy Dialogue) study, aims to provide a robust evidence base from which experts can develop guidelines and recommendations. This will support better dialogue, understanding and better treatment decisions and responses. Initial findings from this research are expected later this year.
These activities demonstrate our ongoing focus and commitment to epilepsy leadership. UCB will continue to work with stakeholders to improve experiences for people with epilepsy and progress towards eradicating the impact of epilepsy around the world.

<![CDATA[10 year anniversary: annual immunology summit provides valuable, cutting edge education to global audience]]> 10 year anniversary: annual immunology summit provides valuable, cutting edge education to global audience]]>Posted by Andrea Christopher, Global Communications & Company Reputation.

Where do physicians from all over the world go when they want to understand the latest scientific innovations in immunology? They attend the 10th Annual Immunology Summit, exclusively sponsored by UCB for the last decade. The theme of this year’s event, held in Prague, March 14-16, was “Paving the way to disease control: have we reached the Summit?�/div>

UCB CEO Jean-Christophe Tellier addresses attendees at the 10th Annual Immunology Summit in Prague, March 14-16, 2019.

The Summit explored the concept of disease activity control and how it has evolved over time �at different paces for different disease indications �and the implications for clinical practice. Strategies for optimizing disease activity control from a rheumatological and dermatological perspective were discussed, while maintaining a strong focus on the patient’s perspective and collaborative care. The program was split into four sessions, each including panel discussions, audience response voting and workshops.

This event has continued to grow in popularity, with a 10% increase in attendance since last year. This year, 460 HCPs and 48 faculty from more than 30 countries attended the event. The summit included rheumatologists and dermatologists, for the first time.  UCB’s long term dedication to creating this annual Immunology Summit demonstrates our leadership in immunology and our willingness to bring forth dynamic learning programs that can truly bring value to patients by educating physicians and improving their care.

<![CDATA[UCB goes to the Cyber Security Challenge Belgium ]]> UCB goes to the Cyber Security Challenge Belgium ]]>Posted by Lucy Setian, Information Technology.

As part of our IT recruitment program, UCB is participating for the first time in the Cyber Security Challenge Belgium!

The Cyber Security Challenge is a contest open to students from Belgian academic institutions, of bachelor or master’s degree with focus on information technology.
Joined by our partners from School 19, UCB is going to share more about how we are supporting the education of next generation IT professionals.
“IT is a key element that allows businesses to evolve and grow but technology alone is not enough. It takes the right people, passion, innovation and dedication to allow these changes to take place. Young professionals play a crucial role as they bring these elements forward when they start their career,�Tom Gilis, Head of IT Security at UCB.

Training and continuous learning have become even more crucial than in the past. The future success of the up and coming pool of talent is synergetic with UCB’s patient value strategy. As an example, last year UCB became one of 10 organizations dedicated to actively supporting and investing in the potential of today’s youth through the sponsorship of School 19 �Belgium’s 1st coding school �alongside Sophie Wilm؈s, Minister of Budget, and Xavier Niel, founder of 42 Paris and Silicon Valley.

You can learn more about how interactions between School 19 and UCB have impacted the next generation of IT talent from the teams of School 19 and UCB during the Cyber Security event, and experience the latest innovation in VR for drug design, while talking about the future of cybersecurity.

If you want to win some great prizes, and learn more about working at UCB - sign up at

<![CDATA[2018 marks the fifth consecutive year of profitable growth]]> 2018 marks the fifth consecutive year of profitable growth]]>Posted by Antje Witte, Investor Relations.
Our full-year results are now out, allow me to highlight some of the key points. What stood out to me was consistent growth in recent years and our research and development investments in the future.

UCB’s strong delivery in 2018 marked the fifth year of profitable growth in a row. Revenue in 2018 reached �.6 billion, an increase of 2% (or 5% at constant exchange rates (CER)).

Net sales increased to �.4 billion �a rise of 5% (or 8% CER). This was driven by our core products, sales of which rose 6% (10% CER). This helped the company’s underlying profitability (rEBITDA) to increase to �1,398 million: up 2% (5% CER).

We are also pleased to share our financial outlook for 2019. This year, revenue is expected to be in the range of â‚?4.6 - 4.7 billion, with recurring EBITDA in the range of 27% - 29% of revenue, reflecting higher R&D investments.

It is also clear that we have a new blockbuster on our hands in the field of epilepsy. As this product reaches new markets, we are expecting sales to reach â‚?.4 billion by 2022. Our blockbuster immunology medicine is expected to reach â‚?.7 billion by 2024. To me, this suggests that the next five years could also be characterized by healthy growth.

And, as ever, we are looking beyond the short and medium-term horizons. The 2018 results and our 2019 financial outlook give us confidence to invest in the future.

UCB has a strong late stage pipeline currently offering six potential product launches in the next five years. Building on this solid foundation, we will accelerate our investments in future growth drivers �new solutions that offer value for patients and move UCB forward. Let me know if you would like to discuss these 6 potential future options for patients.

For more details, download our Full Year Financial Results or contact me directly:

<![CDATA[It’s not because it’s ‘Rare�that we care]]> It’s not because it’s ‘Rare�that we care]]>Posted by Chris Clark, Patient Value Unit - Neurology.

By embracing this approach, we aim to connect targeted patient populations to cutting-edge science and, in doing so, deliver improved, differentiated experiences to people with the highest unmet needs.

One of our newest medicines in development, rozanolixizumab, is a novel biologic therapy being investigated for the treatment of multiple IgG (immunoglobulin G) autoantibody-mediated diseases. Currently available treatments are able to partially stabilize IgG autoantibody-mediated diseases. However, they can be invasive, burdensome, costly, and can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.

The development of rozanolixizumab exemplifies our approach to researching new medicines: We’re listening to and learning from people with first hand experiences of IgG autoantibody-mediated diseases and applying this knowledge to address some of the significant unmet needs they face.

We are leveraging and growing our capabilities to deliver value for specific patient populations new to UCB �for example, people with Myasthenia Gravis (MG) and Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). And, while MG and ITP have IgG autoantibody-mediation in common, they are quite distinct conditions each with unique patient experiences. We are striving to understand the unique factors which differentiate individual patient experiences for people with these conditions and tailoring our solutions to solve for these unique needs.

The FDA has recently awarded rozanolixizumab orphan drug status for MG â€?building on a similar orphan drug designation granted to rozanolixizumab in ITP by the FDA and  European Medicines Agency in 2018. These decisions by regulators reinforce our strategy to bring new and innovative medicines which address well defined patient populations. Importantly, through these designations, the regulatory authorities recognize the potential of UCB’s unique science driven approach, and the impact our research and development activities could have for these very specific patient groups.

Development of rozanolixizumab dovetails perfectly with our overarching company strategy. We are committed to creating patient preference by responding to the specific needs of increasingly well-defined patient populations suffering from IgG-mediated disease, whether their numbers are small or large.

Many of these patient populations are supported by organizations which collectively will be marking International Rare Disease day on 28th February. Their activities will further highlight the importance of improving our knowledge and understanding of these conditions, the significant unmet need which unfortunately exists for many people, as well as the importance of our continuing to progress R&D efforts.

Currently, we’re proud to be actively engaging with patient and advocacy organizations around the world: Bolstering our knowledge, centering our activities on differentiating individual experiences, and ensuring the views of people who could one day benefit from rozanolixizumab are taken into account as early as possible. We are opening up new ground where previously our specific experience was limited - creating a reference point for these targeted patient groups at UCB and building authentic relationships that will be foundational in our aspiration to be leaders for the populations we serve.

We believe that our science, combined with our commitment to understanding the real unmet needs of patients, provides us with an opportunity to go far beyond current treatments. By redefining treatment goals and patient experiences, we have a unique and exciting opportunity to make a real difference.

<![CDATA[New report puts spotlight on Patient Value]]> New report puts spotlight on Patient Value]]>Posted by John-Kenneth Billingsley, External Engagement.

At UCB we place patient value at the centre of everything we do. In practice, this means understanding and responding to their needs. It means making their priorities our priorities.

To take this approach to the next level, we need to reshape our health systems to reflect patient needs and values. UCB is committed to playing an active role in catalyzing a global shift towards patient-centred care.

That’s why we supported a significant piece of work by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Launched at the Patient Value Summit in Biblioth؈que Solvay, Brussels, this new research assesses the state of play in patient-centred care and charts a way forward.

The EIU has launched two insightful documents as part of this project. The first, "Creating Healthy Partnerships", is a white paper for policymakers that analyses 11 indicators in a policy scorecard for nine high and middle income countries and features results of surveys of national patient groups from five serious chronic disease areas. It also draws on additional research and interviews with leading voices from the global health community.

The scorecard shows that national strategies and policies for patient-centred care have been widely adopted. However, implementation remains challenging, especially in countries with fragmented delivery systems.

The transition from disease-focused to patient-centred care models, where patients are participants in the decision-making process, has only just begun.  
The survey of patient advocates found that the two most important areas for patient-centred care are outcomes that matter to patients and the quality of the patient experience. The survey also revealed that providers should take account of patients�concerns about mobility and comorbidities �looking at the individual in the round rather than taking a narrow view of a particular disease.

Patients also said they appreciate support in retaining self-sufficiency and maintaining good health. At UCB, we fully support this and are committed to helping patients live their lives to the fullest.

The White Paper is accompanied by a research background paper, "Adoption of Patient-Centred Care: Findings and Methodology", examining how nine high- and middle-income countries are incorporating patient-centred care, as well as how patient values and preferences are captured in policy approaches and care guidelines for five conditions. The countries included are Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and the US. The five conditions are Epilepsy, Healthy Ageing (osteoporosis), HIV/AIDS, Mental Health (depression/anxiety) and Psoriasis.

By taking this global perspective, the research offers opportunities for countries to compare their progress against peers �and, crucially, learn from those delivering for patients.

The documents and supporting material produced by the EIU are available on a dedicated website:

We hope that this contribution to the conversation on patient value will add momentum to the global trend towards patient-centred care. Only by focusing on outcomes that matter to patients can we hope to fully realize the promise of patient-centred health systems.

<![CDATA[New partnership with King’s College London enhances academic collaboration ]]> New partnership with King’s College London enhances academic collaboration ]]>Posted by Laurent Schots, Global Communications & Company Reputation.

This furthers our strategy of complementing R&D activity undertaken in its two major international research hubs in Belgium and the UK, with smaller satellite facilities that locate industry scientists in innovative environments conducive to building new capabilities.

Now we are adding a new satellite centre at King’s College London, UK. Over the next three years, leading UCB and King’s scientists will work together on-site at the Guy’s Campus �where King’s is developing a Biotech Hub. There, they will combine their expertise to translate basic research into solutions for patients.

Under a three-year agreement, this collaboration is designed to help progress a potential new medicine into human clinical studies by 2020.

For UCB, one of the attractions of the UK �on top of the UK’s vibrant life sciences environment �is the potential to build on our numerous collaborations with leading universities.

Partnerships like our new collaboration with King’s will enhance our efforts to deliver for people living with severe diseases. Together, we can turn research into development.

<![CDATA[Emotions matter - let’s listen]]> Emotions matter - let’s listen]]>Posted by Bharat Tewarie, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer.

What do patients with severe chronic diseases want most from those aiming to address their unmet needs? The answer, according to a new study, is more emotional support.

As we discussed in a recent story, we need to break down the silos between healthcare actors to define, measure and maximize patient value: clinicians, payers, companies and patients often value different things.


If we are to create a patient-centered healthcare system, the voice of patients must be centre stage. That is why a new paper published in the NEJM Catalyst journal is so important. The study, by UCB, ARTIS Ventures and Quid, shows that 75% of patient’s unmet needs related to emotional rather than medical issues.

It is a startling finding from a groundbreaking research collaboration. A team of researchers used natural language processing and machine learning to analyze over half a million patient comments on patient discussion forums. The result is the first and largest study of its kind to use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify unmet needs among patients with chronic conditions.

People, not patients �rethinking the approach
People living with ten severe chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, breast cancer, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy, were included in the study. More than 500,000 posts made between 2010 and 2018 were examined to gain insights into how healthcare stakeholders �including physicians, policymakers and industry �can do more to improve the lives of patients.

Six of the top eight issues consistently raised by patients related not to clinical symptoms but to quality of life issues, including the long-term emotional challenges that arise when adapting to chronic illnesses. Patients worry about how their daily life may deteriorate, how they will cope mentally with physical limitations, and how they might better manage their disease in the longer term.

The research found that the urgency of these emotional needs tended to grow over time: patients living with severe chronic illnesses became increasingly distressed by the limitations of their condition and the failure of the healthcare system to address them.

Building understanding, improving lives
Physicians, advocacy groups and other healthcare stakeholders have opportunities, and responsibilities, to address these emotional needs through greater awareness and education. The analysis shows patients want to understand their disease at a deeper level, both theoretically and practically.

While the internet has made it easy to collect information, patients lack the medical training to truly understand their condition. It is not enough to only inform them of steps to manage their illness, such as with a medication schedule, but instead take the time to explain the reasoning and science behind each medical step.
The root of many of these unmet emotional needs stem from uncertainty and confusion, which leads to anxiety and distrust. If healthcare stakeholders heed the very clear results of this study, we can all work together to provide people with severe chronic conditions a better quality of life.
This landmark paper helps us to see our work through the patient lens; it helps us to better appreciate patients�perspectives and supports our call for stakeholders to break down the silos and work together to deliver innovation that patients value.

We will make patients�priorities our priorities. At UCB, we are listening.

<![CDATA[UCB is proud to be collaborating with Epilepsy Society in the UK to better understand, predict and treat epilepsy]]> UCB is proud to be collaborating with Epilepsy Society in the UK to better understand, predict and treat epilepsy]]>Posted by Dhaval Patel, Executive Vice President - Chief Scientific Officer.

At UCB, we recognise the significant impact of epilepsy, which is why we focus on improving patient experiences and raising awareness every day.

In a further sign of our epilepsy commitment and leadership, we are very excited to announce a new collaboration with the Epilepsy Society in the UK.

This collaboration will involve a 2.5 million euro investment over 5 years and will focus on generating and analysing individual categories of data that have a role in determining a potential drug response - with an initial focus on the role of genetics.  In the latter phases, the emphasis will move towards integrating different types of data sets and understanding how they act together.  In this way, we hope to build a more complete picture of the drivers of treatment resistance in epilepsy, which will allow the exploration of ways to predict and treat it.

The long-term aim of the collaboration will be to use key insights from the research to design and develop improved, personalised approaches to the management of epilepsy, tailoring it to specific patient needs and genetic characteristics.

Through partnerships like this we’re able to broaden knowledge about how patients respond to medicines. By engaging with patients, listening to their feedback and first-hand experiences, and better understanding how multiple genetic factors could be contributing to their personal symptoms, we’re confident we can make a real difference to the millions of people around the world looking for support in managing their epilepsy.

This project is a great example of our strategic commitment to developing targeted, tailored medicine and will use cutting-edge science and data analysis to address significant unmet need in people with epilepsy who do not respond to currently available medicines.
We’re hugely excited by this new partnership and will be sure to keep the epilepsy community updated as the programme gets underway!

<![CDATA[Making a positive impact around the world]]> Making a positive impact around the world]]>Posted by Laurent Schots, Global Communications & Company Reputation.
Marrying the twin goals of growing a global business and being a good corporate citizen may look like a challenge. However, for people-focused organisations like UCB, corporate societal responsibility (CSR) is an essential part of what we do.

We strive to improve the lives of people with severe diseases, create an engaged and innovative workforce, and support projects in developing countries where there is significant unmet need. Far from being contradictory, UCB sees its CSR initiatives as supporting our core mission to improve lives.

As we explain in the winter edition of The European magazine, we are working with partners to improve access to health for people of all ages in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Shared responsibility
UCB has prioritized its CSR’s ‘Access to Quality Care�vision accelerating, together with partners, capacity building of health care professionals, improving community and family awareness of epilepsy, and decreasing health barriers for people living with epilepsy in selected countries. Our CSR department works under a ‘shared responsibility�philosophy.

In Africa, UCB supports six initiatives in five countries. Our partners, the Brothers of Charity (Belgium); Department of Neurology, Ghent University (Belgium); Department of Pediatric Neurology, KU Leuven (Belgium); Humanity and Inclusion (Belgium), DukeMedicine, Global Neurosurgery and Neuroscience (U.S.); OneFamilyHealth Foundation (U.K.); and the UCB Societal Responsibility Fund at the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium), are essential to reaching our ambitious health targets.

We’ve had some notable success in Asia too. In 2013, UCB partnered with the Red Cross Society of China and, since then, over 2,500 village doctors of ethnic minorities in remote China from eleven provinces have been trained.

Close to 500,000 people benefitted from the knowledge and skills acquired. UCB also partnered with Project HOPE at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. The ‘Rainbow Bridge�initiative serves unmet needs of children living with epilepsy. Over 340,000 children and their families were helped with close to 2,400 doctors trained. Training on epilepsy is now also provided to school teachers and communities in order to reduce the stigma and barriers of social re-integration of those children.

Making an impact    
But strategies alone are not enough: we want to measure our impact. To track our progress, we set measurable targets for access to health for underprivileged people living with epilepsy. These targets are based on the results of the UN Human Development Index (HDI). Our green strategy uses the Ecological Wealth of Nations carbon footprint data, as an ecological ‘climate health�indicator.

We determine the right balance between carbon reduction and compensation using the �a href="" class="" target="_blank">Science Based Targets� Carbon reduction targets are designed to make production sites target energy efficiency and renewable energy and to influence carbon reduction of suppliers and contract manufacturing organizations. Changing behaviors of employees at work and at home is also important. Carbon compensation is managed through reforestation and avoidance of deforestation initiatives in Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

UCB’s environmental stewardship efforts have resulted in a stringent, comprehensive and long-term strategy and action plan to be carbon neutral by 2030. This is in line with the ambitions determined by the ‘Paris Agreement�at the 21st sessions of the Conference of the Parties.

These efforts, guided by international goals, can lead us to a better future. We remain committed to finding innovative ways to grow and improve the world.

After all, what good is growth if it’s not good for the planet and its people?

<![CDATA[UCB Iberia’s award-winning initiatives improve lives through technology]]> UCB Iberia’s award-winning initiatives improve lives through technology]]>Posted by Jesús Sobrino, UCB Iberia .
Two innovative projects developed by UCB have been recognised for harnessing technology to improve diseases awareness, spark vital conversations and alleviate symptoms.

At the annual We Are Patients Awards (2018), hosted by the Spanish pharmaceutical industry, the #HoySiPuedo (#TodayICan) campaign was awarded for providing assistance, services and solutions to patients and society.

The project was launched through the Spanish Society of Rheumatology, along with six patient associations for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, spondylarthritis, psoriathic arthritis, lupus and other rheumatic diseases.

The goal was to encourage conversations between people living with these serious conditions and the HCPs. In particular, it offered support for women living with rheumatic diseases that want to plan a family.

The campaign was a big hit on social media, reaching more than 30 million people and sparking a flood of positive and hopeful messages from celebrities, actors, journalists and fashion icons.

The UCB Iberia team played its part in spreading the message to the world, proving that our team can be a key ‘influencer�in online conversations.

We were proud to be recognised for this collaborative initiative which brought stakeholders together to create value for patients by addressing an unmet need.

Parkinson’s app
UCB Iberia also celebrated two awards at the GoHealthAwards19. Again, #HoySiPuedo was honoured, along with the NeuroFit App. The GoHealthAwards recognize the entrepreneurship and innovation in health.

The NeuroFit App was launched in collaboration with the Curemos El Parkinson Foundation and with the support of the Atletico de Madrid Foundation. The aim was to raise awareness about the importance of daily physical exercise for improving Parkinson’s symptoms.

The free app was supported by an awareness campaign using the hashtag #QuelParkinsonNoTePare (#ParkinsonDoesNotStopYou), aimed at promoting physical activity. The app also offers tips on posture, mobility, balance and other exercises which help patients to overcome stuffiness, tremor, and slowness of movement.

As part of the campaign, a video was shown to thousands of sports fans attending a football match.

These two initiatives show UCB’s willingness to work with a broad range of partners and to embrace the latest technologies to improve the lives of patients. We are pleased that our efforts have been recognised by the health and pharmaceutical community, and encouraged to continue to play our part in supporting patients.