Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim is planning to invest €11bn in its new five-year research and development (R&D) programme to accelerate the discovery and development of next generation medical breakthroughs.
Of the total amount, €5bn will be used for pre-clinical R&D and €1.5bn is planned for collaborations with external partners.
The new R&D programme embraces open innovation in the form of external collaborations to better leverage emerging science and the company’s experience and capabilities for the discovery of new medicines.
Boehringer Ingelheim Board of Managing Directors chairman professor Andreas Barner said: "With eleven new launches in 2014 and 2015, our R&D organisation is an example of Boehringer Ingelheim’s outstanding capability in this field.
"The new programme and strategy reflect our corporate philosophy of long-term, sustainable growth. They will enable us to continue our excellent track record of bringing therapeutic innovations with high value for patients to the market."
Under this programme, the company will focus on collaborations with external partners as well as maintain strong internal R&D capabilities.
The new strategy will allow the company to build on its long-term experience and strength in its core therapeutic areas while expanding its efforts to access the vast creative pool of global biomedical research through open innovation, which has become a fundamental part of drug discovery.
The company has also entered into new research collaborations with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Scripps Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medicine to discover new treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
These collaborations aim to discover and validate potential new therapeutic targets as well as identify biomarkers that offer the potential to address the significant unmet medical needs of patients suffering from IBD such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Recently, the company has also signed exclusive agreements with Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceuticals to develop a third generation EGFR-targeted therapy for lung cancer and with Circuit Therapeutics to apply the technique of optogenetics to find new treatments for psychiatric disorders and cardiometabolic diseases.
The public-private partnerships (PPPs), such as the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) Consortium, are playing an increasingly important role in discovery of new medicines.
They have the ability to bring together the best academic and industrial scientists in an unrestricted pre-competitive field.
The company has recently joined the GPCR Consortium and is an active participant in all two of these PPPs.
Additionally, the company and the BioMed X Innovation Center have partnered to bring together outstanding scientists at an academic centre of excellence in Heidelberg and provide them with appropriate infrastructure and mentorship to work on new epigenetic approaches to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The company is also investing in the Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna to support basic research.
Image: Boehringer Ingelheim’s corporate headquarters in Ingelheim, Germany. Photo: courtesy of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH.