Boehringer Ingelheim Biotechnology Process Plant, Germany
Boehringer Ingelheim is a major biotechnology company with its major facilities located in Biberach, Germany.
Boehringer has been active in the biopharmaceutical production of medicinal products since around 1986 and by 1998, the company had become a leader in this sector in Europe.
The engineering contract for the Biberach plant was awarded to the Stuttgart company Life Science Meissner & Wurst, a member of the Jenoptik Group which has strong roots in facility construction in the electronics industry.
This is a sector which, like pharmaceuticals, requires clean rooms and low contaminant tolerances.
Boehringer claims to be the only company worldwide that can cover the entire biotechnical process chain in early development and large-scale commercial manufacturing.
Its focuses include genetic engineering, formulation, downstream processing to fill and finish in state-of-the-art application systems, as well as worldwide registration and marketing of biopharmaceuticals.
Biotechnological production facilities
Before the expansion there were six 15,000l fermenters in operation at the biotechnological production facilities in Biberach, Boehringer's production centre in Germany.
The expansion included a new production plant with an additional six fermenters of the same capacity as those already in place. The plant was already the largest production plant in Europe for medicinal products manufactured from cell cultures.
The products, recombinant proteins manufactured using cell cultures, are used to manufacture biopharmaceutical medicines to treat disorders of the respiratory system and the central nervous system, heart attacks, strokes and rheumatism, among other ailments.
The investment for the plant expansion was around €255m and has allowed Boehringer Ingelheim to double its capacity at the Biberach site for the development and production of pharmaceutically active substances using biotechnology.
Around €125m of the total investment was financed with a loan from the European Investment Bank.
Life Science Meissner & Wurst was in charge of planning and supervising the construction of the new complex, as well putting it into commission. Honeywell Process Solutions was awarded a contract to implement the Experion Process Knowledge System at Biberach.
The integrated process control system enables Boehringer to capture and manage information to safeguard and increase quality, safety, productivity, profitability and operational efficiency.
The automation control system monitors and manages all production processes, from fermentation via product harvesting, to protein purification, as well as all necessary utility systems.
The facility was opened in September 2003.
The increase in capacity created 400 new jobs for highly qualified personnel. This pushed the number of company employees working in Biberach to more than 1,500.
In 2004, a second production facility came on stream at an investment of €225m. In November 2007, an expansion and modernisation programme of the biotech drug production was initiated. The project that began in 2005 required an investment of €80m.
New laboratory building
A new laboratory building for new drug manufacturing was inaugurated in December 2009 at Biberach Riss. Constructed at a cost of €60m, the seven-level laboratory is a compact 87m long and 32m wide.
The lab can accommodate all departments of the non-clinical development that were previously spread across the factory area in different buildings.
The total laboratory space in the building is approximately 11,000m².