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Sanofi and Boehringer partner on biologics manufacturing

Published on 15/01/15 at 10:46am
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Boehringer Ingelheim will help Sanofi extend its manufacturing capabilities for biologics in a new alliance, the companies have announced.

Boehringer’s cell culture operations will provide contract manufacturing capacities to support the production of Sanofi’s biologics pipeline and upcoming product launches, particularly in the area of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).

This is despite the two firms being rivals in several market areas, such as oncology, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Wolfram Carius who is the senior vice president of biologics at Sanofi, says: "Boehringer Ingelheim is a highly capable and experienced partner to complement our continued alliance with Regeneron and the investments we are making in building our own internal capabilities as we prepare for a wave of potential new product launches in the coming years.

"This collaboration reinforces Sanofi's commitment to our strong biologics pipeline and will enable us to take the necessary steps to provide access to high quality therapeutic monoclonal antibodies to meet the needs of patients."

In its statement, Sanofi adds that 72% of its research and development projects are in biologics, nearly half of which are mAbs.

The French firm recently saw approval for its heart biologic alirocumab, co-developed with Regeneron, as well as its long-delayed multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) from its biologics subsidiary Genzyme.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will have access to Boehringer Ingelheim's capabilities in Biberach an der Riss, Germany to transfer and manufacture therapeutic mAbs for ‘global market supply’.

Uwe Bücheler, corporate senior vice president at Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharmaceuticals, adds: "We are looking forward to this collaboration with Sanofi. This agreement reflects the strategy of Boehringer Ingelheim to be dedicated and committed to the manufacturing of highly innovative new biologic entities."

The companies say that initial product transfers will begin in early 2015. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

George Underwood

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