• What will the new production facility be making?
    It will produce biopharmaceuticals. These are used to improve the quality of life of patients with severe neurodegenerative, haematological or autoimmune diseases. With the help of the new, ultramodern production facility in Luterbach, Biogen will be able to meet the growing demand for these drugs.
  • How high is the environmental impact from the production of biopharmaceuticals?
    Biotechnological production differs greatly from traditional chemical production. The manufacturing cells and protein products are only stable in an aqueous environment. Flammable organic solvents and toxic substances generally do not occur in biotechnological production.
  • Why is Biogen constructing a new production facility?
    Biogen has been able to increase the productivity of its biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes significantly over the course of the last decade. To meet the rising global demand for high-quality biopharmaceuticals and the potential requirements of the research pipeline, Biogen wants to expand its production capacity further, which is why it is planning this ultramodern production facility on the Borregaard site in Luterbach.
  • Why did Biogen choose the Luterbach location near Solothurn?
    The Borregaard site in Luterbach meets all the requirements for a new ultramodern production facility. There is enough land to construct an innovative production facility, and the whole site meets the requirements of a sustainable biotechnology production facility. Another plus is access to well-trained employees.
  • How long will it take to construct the new production facility?
    Construction started in January 2016, and commissioning will take place in 2021.
  • Were local companies hired to construct the production facility?
    Construction of the production facility is a large, complex project. Contracts are awarded based on skills, capacity and price. Biogen believes that local companies will be heavily involved in constructing the facility.
  • Is there reason to expect inconveniences, such as traffic disruptions, during construction?
    A traffic study was carried out, which showed that no disruption of traffic is expected from construction. There will be much less traffic than with the paper factory that used to operate on this site.
  • Does the new production facility affect the environment? If so, how?
    Although production is around the clock, there’s virtually no effect on the environment. The fans and pumps aren’t loud, and they’re also screened. Now and then, we test the diesel generators. They emit an odour, but we don’t expect this to be detectable in the surrounding area. Neighbours will be aware of the water vapour from the cooling system, but this isn’t smoke, so it isn’t damaging to the environment.
  • How will the population benefit from construction of this production facility?
    Biogen plans to invest CHF 1.5 billion in the next few years. In addition, there are up to 600 new jobs planned. The population will benefit from the new hirings and economic growth.
  • Will the 600 new jobs be filled by Swiss, or is Biogen bringing in employees from abroad?
    Biogen expects that many of the employees will come from Switzerland. Even so, there will be an international atmosphere, and Biogen must have the option of bringing in experts from abroad. This will be discussed with local and national government representatives. The good vocational and educational training system in Switzerland will help us with recruiting.
  • Is it possible to visit the construction site?
    The project is very complex and time critical. For safety reasons, it isn’t possible to visit the construction site. If you want to know more about the construction site and the future production facility, you can take the “Biogen walk”. We’ve set up points along the construction site, which provide a view of the production and the future plant.
  • What sort of job descriptions are we talking about for these 600 jobs?
    Around 400 jobs are directly and closely involved with production, the other 200 jobs are mainly in operating and maintaining the plant.