Boehringer Ingelheim is launching a new R&D strategy and a five-year R&D investment program.
The company pledges to invest a total of 11 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in its new R&D program over the next five years. Of the total investment, 5 billion euros will go to preclinical R&D with 1.5 billion euro planned for collaborations with external partners.
Boehringer Ingelheim is aiming to develop the next generation of medical breakthroughs and maintain its excellent competitive position. The new R&D strategy embraces open innovation in the form of external collaborations to better leverage emerging science and Boehringer Ingelheim’s experience and capabilities for the discovery of new medicines.
“With 11 new launches in 2014 and 2015, our R&D organization is an example of Boehringer Ingelheim’s outstanding capability in this field,” said Professor Andreas Barner, chairman of the board of managing directors of Boehringer Ingelheim. “The new program 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.”
A key element of the new strategy is an increased focus on collaborations with external partners, while maintaining strong internal R&D capabilities. The approach will enable 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.
“Our new strategy embraces the trend towards more extensive open-innovation approaches between academia and industry in biomedical research. Our partners benefit by accessing our broad experience and capabilities and through establishment of long-term personal interactions with our R&D teams,” said Dr. Michel Pairet, senior corporate vice president research and non-clinical development at Boehringer Ingelheim and designated member of the board of managing directors from January 2016 onward. “The new strategy will foster our external collaboration efforts by enabling us to be faster and more flexible. This is of essence for research beyond the borders of our current focus areas, where we explore emerging science, new indications and new technology to expand opportunities.”
Firstly, bilateral collaboration agreements with academic investigators and biotechnology companies provide important starting points for drug discovery projects.
Secondly, public-private partnerships, 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 medicines discovery because of their ability to bring together the best academic and industrial scientists in an unrestricted precompetitive field.
Thirdly, crowdsourcing initiatives with organizations such as InnoCentive and the BioMed X Innovation Center can be used to seek scientists with bright ideas to address important medical challenges. In addition, Boehringer Ingelheim invests in the Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna to support basic research, and a global network of scientists as essential elements of the creative endeavor.
Finally, the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, founded in 2010 with an initial financial commitment of 100 million euro ($107.5 million), currently is investing in a portfolio of 13 different startup companies with exciting new therapeutic ideas.