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Boehringer plans €500m biopharma expansion in Austria

New production facility in Vienna will create 400 jobs when it comes online in 2021

Boehringer Ingelheim headquarters 

German pharma group Boehringer Ingelheim is planning to open a new biopharma production facility in Vienna that will create 400 jobs when it comes online in 2021. 

The massive project - which will cost around €500m - will be centred on the construction of a new large-scale facility for the production of biologic drugs in cell culture that Boehringer says will “enhance its leading position in the market”.

The new plant will mark a significant expansion of Boehringer's cell culture production capabilities, which are currently concentrated at its Biberach site in Germany, which houses Europe's largest biopharmaceutical unit for therapeutic proteins and antibodies from mammalian cells.

The decision to add further internal production capacity stems from the number of projects coming through Boehringer's biologics pipeline as well as "heavy market demand for contract manufacturing".

In addition to developing and producing its own drugs, Boehringer's BioXcellence unit is one of the largest contract manufacturing companies in the world. The company recently took control of a facility in Shanghai that will spearhead its contract manufacturing operations in China.

Biberach will remain the company's primary location for commercial manufacturing, with the new Vienna facility providing additional capacity for Boehringer's pipeline projects. Until now, the Vienna site has been focused on making active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) using microorganisms, but cell culture technology will be transferred there over the next few years.

"This is a decision for Europe as a pharma location," said Boehringer chairman Andreas Barner, who noted that the company had looked at various international locations for the new facility.

"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," he added.

Boehringer's late-stage biologics pipeline includes idarucizumab - a reversal agent for novel oral anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran) - as well as rheumatoid arthritis candidates BI 695500 and BI 695501 and lung cancer therapy BI 695502. It is also developing several biosimilars of big-selling biologic drugs.

Article by
Phil Taylor

23rd December 2015

From: Research

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