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Boehringer Ingelheim invests in Europe

Published on 24/12/15 at 09:49am
Dr Andreas Barner
BI's chairman Andreas Barner says the deal "is a decision for Europe as a pharma location."

Boehringer Ingelheim will kick off its pharma investments in 2016 with a half a billion Euro outlay and plans to add more than 400 jobs at a production plant in Austria.

The Vienna plant will go into operation by 2021 and will produce active ingredients manufactured using cell cultures, for BI’s biological drugs.

In Vienna, Boehringer Ingelheim has up to now produced pharmaceutical active ingredients using microorganisms; however over the next few years, cell culture technology will also be transferred there. In 2016 the company will expect to progress sales of biologicals including its reversal agent for the anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran), which is approved in both Europe and the US.

Boehringer’s main biologics production site is in Biberach, Germany. At this site, two large-scale facilities for the market launch and cell culture based manufacture of biopharmaceuticals have already been online for several years. Biberach will remain BI’s largest European cell culture and global launch site for biopharmaceutical products. Early in 2015 it took on the manufacture of monoclonal antibodies for Sanofi, in a deal with the French firm and its biologics partner, Regeneron.

It comes just shortly after Boehringer Ingelheim announced another deal with Sanofi, an asset swap agreement to exchange their consumer healthcare and animal health divisions, in a €23 billion deal.

Of the Vienna investment, Professor Dr Andreas Barner, chairman of the board of managing directors at Boehringer Ingelheim says: “This is a decision for Europe as a pharma location. We took a close look at various international options as part of the investment decision, also considering the research environment at potential sites. The clincher for Vienna was ultimately the company’s desire to additionally secure the market supply of biopharmaceutical products and to balance the risk by establishing a further independent facility.”

Dr Wolfgang Baiker, the member of the BI board of managing directors responsible for biopharmaceuticals and operations adds: “Our own promising biopharmaceutical development projects and the heavy market demand for contract manufacturing were the basis for our decision to invest long-term in our biopharmaceuticals activities to this extent.”

Lilian Anekwe

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