BePharBel Manufacturing, Courcelles
A genius idea, among so many others, that has been developed by BePharBel Manufacturing, active in the domain of manufacturing pharmaceutical products in Courcelles.
This young company, founded in 2012, has taken off with gusto. Its view is that the majority of standard medicines could be improved. The company has been more than meeting this challenge, surrounded by competent and experienced professionals who wanted to embark upon the adventure with them.
Over 40 products in the process of being manufactured
BePharBel Manufacturing produces over 40 standard pharmaceutical and para-pharmaceutical products: tablets, gelatine capsules, creams, medicines, nasal sprays, etc. The company also manufactures sterile products such as powder and vials.
“It is a niche market for which we have been developing a very large skill set. Thanks to Belgium’s excellent reputation for medicine and our desire to improve the process constantly, we have really made a name for ourselves,” explained Vincent Stephenne, Managing Director.
Through sheer hard work, we have managed to improve many standard medicines.
In particular, the company has developed a patent to transform tablets into syrup, whilst keeping the same health-restoring properties. “Pharmaceutical products are made up of many different components. They include the healing ingredient, but also everything that contributes towards making it into a compact unit, such as the element that makes it oval-shaped or allows it to be cut in two,” he clarified.
Experience and competence as development factors
At this workshop, a new optimised product is manufactured every week. European directives are followed to the letter. “Each product comes with a barcode. This means we know exactly what medicine we are talking about according to the batch in question. This serialisation system is essential,” he specified. “For sterile products, the procedure is even more precise.”
The manufacturing is overseen by experienced biologists, bioengineers, civil engineers, industrial pharmacists, etc. “I applied to this company mainly because of the interesting projects it was working on. During my interview, we talked about multiple possibilities for pharmaceutical products. I really felt my opinion mattered,”explained Benjamin Mambour, the industrial pharmacist in charge.
After having spent a number of years working in the Netherlands, this thirty year old, hailing from Charleroi, particularly relishes taking on the responsibilities linked to his position and managing the diverse range of projects.
Employees enjoy the sheer number of projects underway.
For Vincent Stephenne, the majority of people who apply here are drawn to a particular project. These people have generally acquired a certain amount of experience with other pharmaceutical companies and know the field very well. Upon hiring, they bring with them a whole host of knowledge and it makes for richer discussions when it comes to production.
“Having retired from GSK a few years ago, I was taken on here for 2 days a week. That allows me to pass on my knowledge and makes it easier to transition out of my professional career” an employee explains.
Growing every year
Bepharbel Manufacturing was founded on the basis of two key elements: an equipped building that wasn’t being used in Courcelles and an idea that had been gnawing away at 5 well-known individuals from the fields of pharmaceuticals and industry, two of whom were Jean Stéphenne, former director of GSK Biologicals and Jacques Reymann, known for Bone Therapeutics.
The company was created during a discussion involving 5 people sitting around a table.
As soon as the project was announced, investment followed. Sambrinvest has been particularly involved, from the company’s foundation, but also throughout its development.
In 7 years, the company has gone from strength to strength. Today it comprises 75 people and turns over 11.5 million euros. From its products, ⅓ is manufactured in its own name and ⅔ for partner clients, 50% of whom are based abroad. What these clients like in particular is the company’s transparency. “Our clients trust us throughout the production chain. We also offer them product monitoring and control services: an essential service when entering the marketplace and generally complex for a non-specialised firm,” explains Vincent Stephenne.
This year, the company has been working on validating manufacturing. Production occurs over two shifts, between 06.00 and 22:00. Furthermore, the acquisition of a new building, practically doubling the company’s surface area, means the product stock can be increased.
In the future, the company is aiming to grow its turnover and export more pharmaceutical products.
13, rue du Luxembourg