Meet BBio

The mantra ‘vaccines for a better world’ drives the success of Bilthoven Biologicals, also known as BBio, located at Utrecht Science Park Bilthoven. BBio and the park itself are globally renowned for producing polio vaccines. A success story based on knowledge sharing and international cooperation coming full circle.

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Eradicating polio worldwide

BBio CEO Jan-Eric Zandbergen: ”We mainly focus on the large-scale production of the polio vaccine to help ensure the eradication of this disease across the world. Because of the scale of production, costs per vaccine are low.”

The biotech company has a simple goal: eradicating polio worldwide. Although wild polio cases have decreased dramatically, from 350,000 cases in 1988 to fewer than 200 in 2019, vaccination must continue to ensure the virus does not resurface.

Zandbergen is hopeful and ambitious: “We still need to make millions of vaccines before we can truly call polio a disease of the past. Bilthoven Biologicals is a crucial supplier for the World Health Organization-backed Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a project we are proud to contribute to.”

BBio’s Bilthoven facility has excellent, long-established standards for vaccine production, registration and licensing – recognised by every export destination and critical for getting vaccines to local populations.

Utrecht Region – biotech hotbed

Developments continue to move forward in Bilthoven. In the coming years, Poonawalla Science Park Bilthoven will expand to become a new science hub, complementary to the existing Utrecht Science Park.

“We share the ambition with neighbouring companies to promote Utrecht Region on the worldwide biotech map”, says Zandbergen enthusiastically. “Resident government institutions plan to move away from the park, so space will become available for many new biotech enterprises.”

He adds: “We have all the necessary infrastructure here such as electricity, steam and water to support production. This is not necessarily the case for other research parks or universities.”

Excellent logistics connections in and beyond the Netherlands

Because BBio’s Bilthoven location enjoys excellent global and European connectivity, thanks to Schiphol Airport and the extensive rail and road networks, it is easy to get vaccines to various markets.

“We transport most of our volume outside the Netherlands”, explains Zandbergen. “So we are very dependent on the logistics infrastructure. And as we are dealing with a cold chain product, it has to be well handled. This location is therefore highly beneficial for us.”

Read the complete interview with Jan-Eric Zandbergen on the Invest in Holland website.