Happy Birthday Pharmaplan Montreux!
The Montreux branch of Pharmaplan Switzerland celebrates its tenth anniversary – We congratulate and tell the exciting story How our successful French-speaking branch came about from a single project:
After 10 years, the PHARMAPLAN branch in Montreux is now an established engineering partner for many well-known biotech players in the region – including Merck Serono SA, Takeda AG, UCB FARCHIM SA, Celgene International Sàrl, Debiopharm Research & Manufacturing SA, Ferring SA, Incyte Biosciences Technical Operations Sàrl and many more. It all started with just one customer:
Because although the Romandie region in French-speaking Switzerland has developed into the country’s biotech valley over the past decade, experience has shown that it is a territory that is more difficult to develop for German-speaking industry. In addition to the physical distance, the natural language barrier is an obstacle for German companies to establish themselves in French-speaking Switzerland.
As Stéphanie Sénéchal, a NNEPharmaplan colleague from France, came to Switzerland and had the chance to build up a new customer base here. Because starting with the PHARMAPLAN customer Serono, the third largest biotech company in the world at the time (now Merck Serono SA) – more and more production companies are now clustering between Lake Neuchâtel and Lake Geneva. For example, the US pharmaceutical company BMS, which has set up its European headquarters there, or foreign companies such as Takeda Sàrl from Japan and the Belgian company UCB FARCHIM SA produce biotechnologically manufactured drugs in French-speaking Switzerland.
Sénéchal began her career at NNEPharmaplan Switzerland in 2009 as Head of the GMP department. With the support of the emeritus managing director, Gunter Feddern, several customer appointments with UCB FARCHIM SA, BMS and Vifor Pharma SA in French-speaking Switzerland soon followed. As a result, the management of NNEPharmaplan Switzerland under Stefan Berg decided to open an office in Romandy.
Because of its proximity to Merck Serono SA, the Vevey location was chosen. Just one year later, in February 2010, Stéphanie Sénéchal started as head of the new Montreux office.
Stéphanie Sénéchal put together a team with which she started the first project for Debiopharm Research & Manufacturing SA performed as general planner for a new “Central Utility Building”. In the course of this, the team quickly expanded and other projects followed. 2011 saw the kick-off of the “Edelweiss Project” for UCB FARCHIM SA in Bulle – a greenfield project for large-scale antibody production – which is still a flagship project for Pharmaplan Switzerland.
After two years (2012 ) the colleagues moved to a larger office in Montreux, which was finally expanded by another floor in 2015. Today, PHARMAPLAN Montreux is a well-established factor for a large number of well-known biotech companies in French-speaking Switzerland when it comes to pharmaceutical and biotech engineering.