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Boehringer makes €70m manufacturing investment in China

German company to expand Shanghai facility in response to the growing Chinese market

Boehringer Ingelheim is investing €70m in China to expand its Shanghai manufacturing facility and make it a 'launch site' for the company's global operations.

Boehringer will increase employee numbers from 240 to 400 at the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park and double production capacity in the first phase of work to be completed by December, 2013.

The company said the expansion would enable it to meet demand for more and improved healthcare services in China, which has grown significantly in recent years.

Professor Dr Wolfram Carius, responsible for the corporate board division operations and human resources at Boehringer, said: "We want to expand our Zhangjiang plant, primarily to meet the demand for more health in China. It also shows our continuous commitment to China and specifically Shanghai. Our vision is to transform our Shanghai plant into a launch site in Boehringer Ingelheim's global operations network."

The plant will manufacture the company's existing marketed products and pipeline drugs, its expansion will transform it into a “modular and lean manufacturing facility”.

The initial phase of development will also include the creation of a packaging centre for ampoules and solids, as well as a new laboratory building for development activities.

A second phase of expansion planned by Boehringer will include a revamp and upgrade of the existing solids manufacturing facility, with work to be finished by the end of 2014.

"We are committed to meeting the growing demand of China's pharmaceutical market and to bringing more health to patients and their families," said David Preston, CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim China.

Growth in China's healthcare market has increased in recent years, thanks largely to a spring 2009 announcement from the government to invest 850bn Chinese renminbi (about $128bn) by 2011.

The country is also becoming an increasingly popular market for pharmaceutical companies looking to reach new populations as traditionally strong markets in the US and Europe are affected by patent losses and cost-cutting reforms.

The value of its pharmaceutical market climbed from $36.6bn in 2008 to $46bn in 2010, according to PMGroup's Country Report: China.

15th December 2011

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