Boehringer Ingelheim expands development capacities with new technical centre

The research driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim is establishing a new 50 million-plus euro pilot plant facility for the production of newly developed active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company announced this investment in its largest research and development site worldwide in Biberach, Germany. With the construction of the new facility, Boehringer Ingelheim is ensuring that the substances from the well-stocked “research pipeline” – in other words, the supply of innovative compounds – are available for clinical studies in sufficient amounts. “In order to continue offering new products in therapeutic areas with significant unmet medical needs, such as diabetes, cancer, hepatitis C, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and asthma, we need to invest now”, explained Professor Andreas Barner, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, at the ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone in Biberach. The new technical centre is scheduled for completion in early 2014.

In the research and development process for new pharmaceutical products, the required amount of a new active ingredient grows steadily as progress is made. Whilst substance amounts measured in milligrams are sufficient during the early phases of research, the need for toxicological and pharmaceutical tests means that the amounts needed rise significantly to the two- or three-digit kilogram range in later stages. With 15 chemical reactors with volumes of 100 to 300 litres, the new pilot facility in Biberach will have the capacity to provide these substance amounts.

“The pilot facility will make it possible to produce sufficient amounts to provide active ingredients from the global group’s own research and development for later phases,” affirmed Dr Wolfgang Baiker, Corporate Senior Vice President for Development. The new technical centre will have a useable area of approximately 2,700 square metres and will host four manufacturing bays including four synthesis laboratories, which will handle the transfer of processes from laboratory to technical scale.

“In the past, the successful research and development activities of Boehringer Ingelheim and the innovative strength that accompanies them have been the basis for our positive economic development. Our in-house research and development will continue to be of the utmost priority in future,” stated Prof. Barner. “The construction of the new technical centre in Biberach is a clear sign of that.” Last year alone, the pharmaceutical company invested more than 2.5 billion euro in the research and development of new medications.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 44,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

As a central element of its culture, Boehringer Ingelheim pledges to act socially responsibly. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim’s endeavours.