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Boehringer beefs up biologics capacity with €230m investment

New facility to focus on analytical and process development and manufacturing of biologics for trials.

Boehringer

Boehringer Ingelheim is to spend €230m in a facility that will create 100 jobs and support the increasing proportion of biologic drugs in its pipeline.

The biologicals development centre (BDC) will be sited at Boehringer’s campus in Biberach which houses a sizeable chunk of the company’s R&D activities, as well as being on of its main locations for large-scale biopharmaceutical production.

The foundation stone for the new building was laid ahead of the weekend and – once completed in around 2020 – the new facility will employ around 500 workers, including the new hires. It will focus on analytical and process development, as well as manufacturing of biologic drugs for clinical trials.

The project is “another key building block supporting the company’s long-term strategy for increasing the pipeline’s share of biologicals,” according to Boehringer’s senior vice president of development Dr Fridtjof Traulsen, who noted that at present large-molecule drugs account for around 40% of all pipeline candidates.

In particular, the BDC will support Boehringer’s push into immunology and immuno-oncology. That includes its portfolio of biosimilar drugs, as well as novel candidates such as AbbVie-partnered interleukin-23 inhibitor risankizumab – in phase III trials in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – and anti-CD40 antibody BI 655064, in phase II for lupus nephritis.

Following after in earlier-stage development are a first-in-class IL-36 receptor inhibitor BI 655130 for pustular psoriasis and other immune diseases, and an array of vaccines, oncoytic viruses and T-cell engagers for cancer.

There’s an additional bonus as well. The increased capacity for development work will free up capacity at Biberach for contract manufacturing, which is a useful revenue generator for Boehringer, making €678m last year, a rise of almost 11% and accounting for around 5% of its total revenues.

The investment is the latest in a series at Boehringer to bolster its biologics capabilities, along with a new €400m plant in Vienna, Austria, a recently-completed €70m facility in Shanghai, China, and a $217m expansion of its production unit in Fremont, California.

Article by
Phil Taylor

25th June 2018

From: Regulatory

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