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Boehringer to invest €17m in Biberach, Vienna facilities

Published on 06/03/12 at 09:22am
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Boehringer Ingelheim has said it plans to invest around €17 million in its biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing capabilities at Biberach, Germany and in Vienna, Austria. 

The company has been expanding its cell culture operations in Biberach and microbial fermentation capacity in Vienna in recent years to help meet increasing demand for contract manufacture of protein-, plasmid- and antibody-based drugs. 

"The expansion has been tailor-suited to fully meet our customer demands in cell culture and microbial process science, especially for our rapidly expanding preclinical project portfolio with biotech companies", said Dr Dorothee Ambrosius, the company's senior vice president for biopharmaceuticals global process science. 

The money will be spent in part on cell line development with Boehringer's proprietary BI-HEX high expression system and microbial strains, as well as process development services for the contract manufacturing business, said the company.

It will also be used to expand Boehringer's current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) cell banking, process science, cell line development and quality laboratories.

One of the aims at Biberach is to support the company's recently introduced 'Lean to Clinic' programme for monoclonal antibody projects, which strives to deliver drug substances suitable for clinical testing within 13 months of the start of a project. 

Meanwhile, in the microbial business at Vienna the increased resources will be used to advance Boehringer's proprietary technologies, including its high yield plasmid DNA (pDNA) manufacturing platform and technology collaborations with Pfenex on its Pseudomonas fluorescens-based expression system, and with VTU Technology on the Pichia pastoris expression technology. 

"This is another milestone within our contract manufacturing strategy securing technology leadership and towards increased flexibility and customer orientation," said Dr Ambrosius.

Boehringer accounts for 23% of sales revenues and 23% of manufacturing capacity in the global biopharmaceuticals contract manufacturing market, according to market research consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

Phil Taylor

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