In 2000, biotechnology company Boehringer Ingelheim awarded Stuttgart company Life Science Meissner & Wurst an engineering contract for the expansion of its Biberach plant.
With facilities located in Biberach, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim has been active in the biopharmaceutical production of medicinal products since around 1986. It provides services covering the entire biotechnical process chain in early development and large-scale commercial manufacturing.
The firm focuses on areas such as genetic engineering, formulation, downstream processing and fill and finish in state-of-the-art application systems, as well as worldwide registration and marketing of biopharmaceuticals.
Including recombinant proteins manufactured using cell cultures, its products are used to manufacture biopharmaceutical medicines to treat disorders of the respiratory and the central nervous systems (CNS), as well as heart attacks, strokes and rheumatism.
Life Science Meissner & Wurst is a member of the Jenoptik Group, which has strong roots in facility construction in the electronics industry.
Prior to the expansion, Boehringer Ingelheim was operating six 15,000l fermenters at the Biberach plant. The expansion included a new production plant with an additional six fermenters of the same capacity as those already in place.
A €255m investment was provided for the project, which was expected to double the site’s capacity 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 the plant.
This 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 job vacancies. This raised 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.
A new laboratory building for drug manufacturing was inaugurated in December 2009 at Biberach Riss. Constructed at a cost of €60m, the seven-level laboratory is 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.
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