Boehringer Ingelheim Strikes a Series of Investments and Collaborations Worldwide


The last week has marked plenty of investment activity in operations, collaborations and PR the last week or two for Ingelheim, Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim

It announced yesterday that the company is planning to invest 65 million euros into its new animal health headquarters in Lyon, France. It recently broke ground on its new 5,700-square-meter building at Lyon Portes-des-Alpes, known as F2IVE (Formulation and Filling of Inactivated Vaccines Extension). The facility will host two formulation lines, a multi-format bottle distribution line and a bag distribution area. About 42 new jobs will be created at that location.

The site focuses on the development and manufacture of avian vaccines for all countries outside of the U.S. The company notes that over the last 22 years, it has invested more than 350 million euros into the site.

“As poultry consumption continues to rise around the world, there is an increasing demand for avian vaccines,” said Erick Lelouche, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health France, in a statement. “This meant that our LPA production site in Saint-Priest was going to reach a saturation point by 2020. We had to do some forward planning and find additional production capacity.”

Boehringer also announced yesterday that it had signed a license agreement with Munich, Germany-based Leukocare for its Stabilizing and Protecting Solutions (SPS) technologies. This is also part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s animal health business unit. The SPS technologies improves the stability and quality of biologics such as antibodies and vaccines.

In the U.S., Boehringer Ingelheim partnered with Minor League Baseball (MiLB). Boehringer Ingelheim, now dubbed the “Official IPF Awareness Partner of Minor League Baseball,” will host events at minor league stadiums throughout the season. At 15 of the stadiums, this will include 75 “Breathless Blowout” game days, where fans will be given bubble gum and encouraged to blow bubbles.

The efforts are to drum up awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a type of lung disease that causes scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs. Boehringer Ingelheim markets Ofev for IPF, which competes with Roche’s Esbriet.

“Minor League Baseball is an organization with an immense fan base, and our partnership will afford us a unique opportunity to take disease recognition to new heights across the nation,” said Al Masucci, vice president of Boehringer Ingelheim’s IPF business unit, reported FiercePharma. “Our aim is to educate and empower those who think they may have IPF to seek early diagnosis and treatment, and hopefully make a difference in the lives of those affected.”

And last week, Boehringer Ingelheim and Nantes, France-based OSE Immunotherapeutics, inked a collaboration and exclusive global collaboration and license deal. The two companies will jointly develop OSE-172, a SIRP-alpha antagonist that targets myeloid lineage cells.

SIRP-alpha is found on myeloid lineage cells, including Dendritic Cells (DCs), tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs). OSE-172 is believed to improve T-cell activity by enhancing the functionality of DC antigens.

As part of the deal, Boehringer Ingelheim acquired global rights to develop and commercialize OSE-172. They are paying OSE Immunotherapeutics 15 million euros upfront, or about $18.46 million (U.S.) OSE Immunotherapeutics will also be eligible for up to 15 million euros when a Phase I trial begins, as well as a total of more than 1.1 billion euros, or about $1.35 billion (U.S.), in development, commercialization and sales milestones. They are also eligible for royalties on any net sales.

“This partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim is a real recognition of the value of our innovative approach to treating cancer and will create an exciting new alliance to fuel the Phase I development of OSE-172,” said Dominique Costantini, chief executive officer of OSE Immunotherapeutics, in a statement. “Boehringer Ingelheim’s expertise and insights will be invaluable as we step up the clinical development and work to commercialize this new treatment paradigm.”

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