Boehringer breaks ground on €285m European API facility

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Manufacturing Pharmacology Pharmaceutical drug Active ingredient API

The company will build its ‘chemical innovation plant’ at its headquarters in Germany, improving its capacity for manufacturing chemical entities.

Boehringer Ingelheim noted that it had laid the foundation stone for the beginning of work on the facility, with German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and Rhineland-Palatinate minister-president, Malu Dreyer in attendance. The €285m ($314m) plant is expected to commence operations in 2026.

The facility will be located in Ingelheim, Germany, and will develop manufacturing processes for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and produce drugs for use in clinical trials.

The company stated that opening the facility in Germany will strengthen the country’s long-term position as a research and production location for API production, noting that it could ensure a ‘reliable supply’ of medicines.

Chancellor Scholz echoed this sentiment in a statement: “The pandemic has shown Germany’s potential in innovating and manufacturing life-saving medications. Germany and Europe can enhance their resilience by establishing local value chains. Boehringer Ingelheim’s new innovation center is excellent news.”

In terms of the size, the facility will cover 11,500-square-meters across seven floors, and will house four production lines, with associated development areas. The company added that the space has been designed with future expansions in mind to cater to evolving needs and to house new technologies.

Boehringer stated that the plant will sit between its smaller pilot plants that are located in Biberach, Germany, and Ridgefield, US, and the commercial-scale production facilities it already possesses in Ingelheim.

Expanding in Europe

The decision to open an API facility in Germany followed on from a similar investment in its biologics capacity in April​. The latter investment will see Boehringer invest €350m to develop a center for biotechnology, with this sum representing the highest capital expenditure the company has undertaken in Germany to date.

The ‘Biologicals Development Center’ will cover 34,500-square-meters, and will be located in Boehringer’s campus in Biberach, which is the company’s largest R&D and biopharmaceutical site, employing more than 7,000 individuals.

The new facility will house more than 500 employees, and the work will concentrate on research and development of antibodies and therapeutic proteins. In terms of production capabilities, the facility will have the capacity to produce biologics from lab-scale to clinical-scale. 

Building out both an API facility and biologic development center arrives as the company made mention of the fact its research pipeline consists of 50% biologic medicines and 50% traditional small molecule treatments.

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