Boehringer Ingelheim spends €17M on expansion in Germany, Vienna

Boehringer Ingelheim has invested €17 million expanding plants in Biberach, Germany, and Vienna.

The work includes its manufacturing and biopharmaceutical development capabilities at its cell culture and microbial sites as well as expansion of the company's current cell banking, process science, cell line development and laboratories.

"This is another milestone within our contract manufacturing strategy securing technology leadership and towards increased flexibility and customer orientation," Dr. Dorothee Ambrosius, Boehringer Ingelheim's senior vice president of biopharmaceuticals global process science, said in a statement. 

The improvements, in part, support Boehringer Ingelheim's recent move to a "Lean to Clinic" program for monoclonal antibody projects. The company said the program would allow delivery of drug substances for clinical studies as quickly as just 13 months after the start of a project.

InPharm points out that the company has been expanding its cell culture operations in Biberach and microbial fermentation capacity in Vienna in recent years to feed demand for contract manufacture of protein-, plasmid- and antibody-based drugs. Citing a Frost & Sullivan study, it says Boehringer is one of the largest contract manufacturers in the world, accounting for nearly 25% of capacity. 

The news is a bright spot after all of the attention paid to its Ben Venue Laboratories plant in Bedford, Ohio, which halted most operations in November because of quality concerns. Fallout from that has included a string of drug shortages and forced the FDA and the industry to scramble to find substitutes for some cancer treatments. 

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