Patheon fosters innovation and delivers industry-leading service in Brabant

14 October 2019

Patheon is a global leader in the development and manufacture of third-party pharmaceutical and bio pharma products. The company’s global operations encompass more than 8,000 scientific and professional staff in 29 sites across North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. Patheon’s Brabant operation is a particularly important contributor to its global success.

Its Tilburg plant specializes in the development and manufacture of ‘softgels’- capsules containing liquid doses of medicines and nutritional supplements. The company’s local clients include household names such as Pfizer, Perrigo and Reckitt Benckiser.

High standards of manufacturing and customer service are a key component of Patheon’s operations. The company’s Brabant location offers particular advantages with regards to recruitment of qualified staff, which in turn helps Patheon deliver these goals, as Tony van Bijleveld, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations of Patheon Europe, explains.

“We’re comfortably located between two of the biggest pharmaceutical centers in the Netherlands, which is an advantage if you want to recruit. To the west of us, there’s the pharma biotech region in Leiden and to the east you’ve got the largest pharmaceutical company in the country – MSD.”

Patheon also enjoys close relationships with local universities and research institutions which, according to van Bijleveld, bring particular advantages in terms of not only recruitment but also research and development (R&D). “We’ve got a close relationship with a number of universities in the region, particularly Eindhoven University of Technology and Rotterdam Erasmus University,” he explains.

We’ve got an ongoing project with a local university looking at the future possibilities of softgels. We’re now working much more closely with universities and young academics - and Tilburg is ideally located for this because it’s right in the middle of everything.

Tony van Bijleveld - Patheon

Manufacturing capacity

The Tilburg plant is expanding to meet increased demand for its pharmaceutical and over-the-counter softgel products from the EMEA region, particularly Eastern Europe. Patheon employs 200 people in its production facilities and has the capacity to produce some three billion capsules annually. Two additional production lines will be set up in 2016 to increase capacity even further. No wonder van Bijleveld acknowledges that “we’re currently growing at the seams.”

Van Bijleveld believes that the Tilburg location is also advantageous from a manufacturing and distribution point of view. “We’re very well located for distribution because we enjoy easy access to Rotterdam Harbour, Antwerp, Germany and even France,” he says.

There are also good employment opportunities in the region for people who want to use their hands. We get access to a lot of brains in Tilburg but also a lot of hands - people who want to roll up their sleeves and do work. That’s ideal for a company like Patheon because we have both research and development and production on site.

Tony van Bijleveld - Patheon

Its Tilburg plant – offering access to qualified staff, R&D innovations and significant manufacturing capacity – is a significant driver of the company’s continued growth. Van Bijleveld explains: “Patheon is investing in new sites and wants to provide an industry-leading customer experience. And I think that’s what we do.”

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