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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Boehringer Ingelheim unveils strongest R&D pipeline in its 139-year history

Health Industry Hub | April 17, 2024 |

Pharma News: Private pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, has announced its ambitious plan to introduce 25 new treatments within its human pharma division by 2030. Fuelled by the most robust research and development (R&D) pipeline in its 139-year history, the company aims to significantly impact healthcare in the coming years. During its annual press conference, Boehringer revealed its expectation of a “slight” year-on-year revenue increase for 2024.

In the past decade, Boehringer Ingelheim has nearly doubled its revenue from €13.3 billion in 2014. Throughout this period, the company has consistently expanded its sales each year, with the exception of 2018. This downturn was primarily attributed to the loss of patent protection for Spiriva, a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

Since 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim’s strategic partnership with Eli Lilly, focusing on the diabetes and heart-failure medicine Jardiance (empagliflozin), has significantly contributed to its revenue surge. This partnership proved particularly fruitful in 2022, witnessing a notable 17% surge in sales.

The company anticipates commencing ~10 new phase 2 and 3 trials in lung cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, rare cancers and psychiatric conditions, within the upcoming 12 to 18 months. This is underpinned by a substantial investment in R&D, which reached €5.2 billion last year – representing 25% of net sales across Human Pharma.

Hubertus von Baumbach, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, Boehringer Ingelheim, said “We are determined to accelerate the development of our range of new treatments and make them available to patients in the best and fastest ways. In doing so, it is our mission to not only help patients, but also to help make healthcare systems fairer and better.”

Dirk Otto, General Manager of Boehringer Ingelheim Australia and New Zealand, said “Boehringer has had a successful year as one of the leading research investors in the industry. Our impressive pipeline is coming together nicely, with many contributions from clinical trial sites in Australia and New Zealand.

“Over the last 12 months we introduced innovative treatments for heart failure and chronic kidney disease to patients in Australia, while many of our products continue to be standard medicine.”

Boehringer’s head of innovation, Dr Paola Casarosa, disclosed that the current pipeline boasts nearly 60 assets spanning across 90 indications, with a significant 70% of these programs presenting an opportunity to pioneer first-in-class mechanisms. She highlighted survodutide, co-invented with Zealand Pharma, which has garnered attention for its phase 2 results in liver disease associated with metabolic dysfunction (MASH) and has advanced into phase 3 trials for obesity.

Notably, zongertinib is undergoing phase 3 evaluation in a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) trial named Beamion Lung-2, with pivotal trials slated for breast and gastric cancer in the latter half of this year.

Mental health was also on the agenda, with Dr Casarosa spotlighting two projects: GlyT1 inhibitor iclepertin, targeting cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, with phase 3 results anticipated next year; and a negative allosteric modulator (NAM) of NR2b NAM for mood disorders, set to enter late-stage trials for major depressive disorder, alongside earlier development for borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

With a focus on health equity, Boehringer is continuing to support the “Angels” initiative, which has become the largest stroke community in the world and helped 16 million stroke patients in 155 countries receive optimised car.

“As we celebrate our 60th anniversary in Australia, I am extremely optimistic about the next 60 years. We are committed to making a meaningful and significant contribution to the health of both humans and animals,” Mr Otto remarked.

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