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Boehringer invests €35m in research centre in China

Teams up with Shanghai firm to build biopharma facility

Boehringer Ingelheim logo China flag

Boehringer Ingelheim plans to launch a biopharma research site in Shanghai in partnership with a local firm that will see it become the first non-Chinese firm to set up a facility in the country to use cell culture technology for research. 

The German pharma company will invest €35m as part of a strategic alliance with Zhangjiang Biotech & Pharmaceutical Base Development Company and intends the site, which will see up to 65 new jobs created, to be operational by early 2016.

Christian Boehringer, chairman of Boehringer's shareholders committee, said the partnership was an “important step in our global China strategy”.

“It opens a further opportunity for Boehringer Ingelheim to participate in the growing demand for high quality biopharmaceuticals in China,” he added.

Boehringer has had a presence in China since 1994, and has gradually increased its investment in what is an increasingly important market for the pharma industry as traditionally strong markets face healthcare cutbacks and toughened health technology assessment (HTA) procedures.

Growth in China extends beyond research, however, with Boehringer announcing in 2011 its intention to invest €70m in manufacturing, while earlier this year, the company said it was working with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Chinese Society of Cardiology (CSC) on a new an educational programme for physicians in China.

This extra investment is in contrast to concerns about the company's future in its home country, where senior figures have warned of the consequences of Germany's decision not to recommend its diabetes treatment Trajenta.

Speaking at the company's annual meeting in April 2013, head of finance Hubertus von Baumbach, said: “A healthcare policy that solely targets cost reduction leads sooner or later to rising costs to society.

“The lack of therapeutics progress leads to increasing cost, because inefficient treatment methods are applied ... this decision [also] threatens highly skilled jobs at the research location in Germany.”

7th June 2013

From: Research

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