Boehringer Ingelheim inaugurated its new global center for biological research and development (R&D) Oct. 12 at its Lyon Porte-des-Alpes (LPA) location in Saint-Priest, France.
With this 70 million-euro investment, the German group signaled its intention to reinforce its leading position in the veterinary vaccine market by bringing its R&D and biological production activities into the same center of excellence.
“This investment addresses the economic, demographic and health concerns involved in preventing and controlling the spread of animal epidemics, some of which can be transmitted to humans, such as rabies and avian flu,” said Nigel Swift, global head of vaccines research and development at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health.
The new 14,500 sq. m building has four floors and required three years of planning and construction. More than 200 people work in this high-tech laboratory, which is designed to allow employees to pool expertise and to provide optimal and scalable work conditions suited to new environmental standards, the company said.
The inauguration of this biological R&D center is the final phase in the transfer of the former Merial laboratories from Lyon’s Gerland district to the LPA site, according to the announcement.
“By bringing together R&D and production activities into the same location in Lyon Porte-des-Alpes, this site becomes a leading international center for biological excellence. The teams will work more closely together, with the added benefit of increased productivity, responsiveness and performance,” said Erick Lelouche, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health France.
Through this center of excellence, Boehringer Ingelheim said it aims to accelerate its growth while remaining faithful to its core mission: creating value through innovation. Fewer than two years after acquiring Merial and one year after inaugurating its new French headquarters dedicated to animal health in the heart of the Lyon-Gerland Biodistrict, the Germany-based group also intends to position the Lyon metropolitan area at the center of its international growth strategy, capitalizing on this region’s history as the cradle of life sciences and immunology.
The company said this strong commitment is illustrated by its recent decisions, including the announcement of a 65 million-euro investment in a vaccine formulation and filling facility at this same LPA location, which is scheduled to be operational in the spring of 2020. This inauguration comes on the back of the announcement early this summer that the company will invest a record 200 million euros in a new biotechnology manufacturing facility for vaccines against foot and mouth disease and bluetongue virus in the ZAC de Gaulnes joint development zone in Jonage, near Lyon. The groundbreaking is scheduled to take place this fall, with the project completion at the end of 2021.
Family owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas: human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2017, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of nearly 18.1 billion euros. R&D expenditures, exceeding 3 billion euros, corresponded to 17.0% of net sales.
Boehringer Ingelheim is the second-largest animal health business in the world. With net sales of 3.9 billion euros and around 10,000 employees worldwide, it is present in more than 150 markets.