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Boehringer Ingelheim Announces Strong 2012 Performance in China

26 April 2013
Boehringer Ingelheim

CHINA - Boehringer Ingelheim has reported on its performance in the Chinese market in the business year 2012. With sales of €358 million (RMB2,904 million) marking growth of 32 per cent last year, the firm will accelerate its strategic business development in China, a market of significant importance to the company.

With the aim of improving health to better the quality of life for patients across China, Boehringer Ingelheim is focused on driving future and sustained growth across four key strategic areas – prescription medicine, consumer healthcare, animal health, and the future introduction and operation of its biopharmaceutical business. Underpinned by unwavering commitment to innovation and the delivery of high quality healthcare solutions, the company is confident in achieving continued substantial growth in China in 2013 and beyond.

"We see significant potential in China as one of the major strategic markets for the company’s future growth," said Professor Andreas Barner, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors. "We are committed to investing and to introducing more innovative medicines and animal health solutions in China."

Delivering Stable Growth across Prescription Medicine

Boehringer Ingelheim China’s prescription medicine business outperformed the market with a growth rate of 32 per cent in 2012, raising the company’s IMS ranking to No.15. The company is one of only three, amongst the top 20 multinational pharmaceutical companies in China, to increase market share in 2012. With core products including Mucosolvan® ampoules (Respiratory Disease), Micardis® (Hypertension), Spiriva® (COPD), Sifrol® (Parkinson’s Disease) and Actilyse (lytic treatment for stroke), Boehringer Ingelheim is set to continue to achieve strong sales in Prescription Medicines in China.

"In addition to our existing comprehensive portfolio, we are actively introducing products with blockbuster status or blockbuster potential to China, aiming for leadership in key therapeutic areas including stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation, diabetes, oncology and hepatitis C," stated Allan Hillgrove, Member of the Board of Managing Directors, responsible for the Board Division Marketing and Sales.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s innovative drug, Pradaxa® – the first new oral anticoagulant for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation for over 50 years – was approved by China’s SFDA in February 2013. The product will be launched within the next weeks in China and is set to significantly reduce the risk of stroke for many patients. In addition, Trajenta®, for patients with Type 2 diabetes, is a drug of the new DPP-4 inhibitor class of drugs jointly promoted by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and was approved by the SFDA in March 2013. It will be launched a few weeks after Pradaxa®, catering to the needs of the fastest growing diabetic population in the world.

Exploring Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Partnerships in Consumer Health Care

Boehringer Ingelheim is also driving substantial growth across the consumer health care market in China.

"As one of our global priority strategic focuses, we will increase our investment in our consumer healthcare business in China," said Dr Joachim Hasenmaier, Member of Board of Managing Directors responsible for Animal Health and Consumer Health Care.

The company will invest in launching leading global brands in the cough and cold, allergy, laxative, antispasmodic and vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) categories over the next five years and make available high quality products to Chinese consumers. In 2013 and 2014 the entry of the antispasmodic and laxative categories with the new launches of Buscopan and Dulocolax are expected to drive strong double digit growth. The company will also explore further growth opportunities through external acquisitions and partnerships, such as in the area of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM).

"Traditional Chinese Medicines are the medicine of choice for Chinese consumers. China has a huge tradition with Traditional Chinese Medicine and we look forward to a planned involvement here," said Dr Hasenmaier.

An Established Market Leader in Animal Health

Boehringer Ingelheim’s animal health business ranked No. 3 amongst international companies in 2012 in China. As a market leader, Boehringer Ingelheim China is highly competitive in the area of animal vaccines, with acclaimed market reputation for quality and distribution across all core products, including Ingelvac Circoflex® which helps to protect pigs against Porcine Circovirus Disease.
In March 2012, the 12million euro Boehringer Ingelheim Asian Veterinary Research and Development Center (AVRDC) opened in Zhangjiang, Shanghai to expand innovative vaccine development against swine and poultry diseases; thus, helping to safeguard China’s animal husbandry industry. In addition, in May 2012, Boehringer Ingelheim initiated a joint venture with China Medical City to build a new state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province. With a total investment of more than 55 million euros, the new manufacturing facility, scheduled to break ground in 2013, will produce swine and poultry vaccines for China and other Asian markets.

"Our aim is to maintain and extend our leadership position in China’s animal health business" said Dr  Hasenmaier. "We will expand our cattle business and introduce our pet animal health business to China. We will further extend our product line in the future, aiming to become the reliable partner of choice for China’s animal breeders and to contribute to food safety in China. With strong scientific discovery and development capabilities, Boehringer Ingelheim is also prepared to enter into possible cooperations to assist the Chinese government in order to accelerate the development of vaccines against the recent H7N9 avian flu detected in poultry in China," he added.

Operational Excellence for the Asia Pacific Region

Boehringer Ingelheim China is proud of its world-class drug manufacturing facilities that operate to the highest standards in Zhangjiang, Shanghai. In 2012, the plant produced 68.5 million packaged units, covering products like Mucosolvan®, Micardis®, Atrovent®, Mobic®, Pradaxa®, Spiriva ® and Respimat® for the Chinese market. 2012 marked the 10-year anniversary of the facility’s operation.

"Our goal is to make the Zhangjiang plant a major site in our global production and supply network with enhanced operational excellence," said Prof. Wolfram Carius, Member of the Board of Managing Directors with responsibility for Biopharmaceuticals and Operations.

Boehringer Ingelheim is investing 86 million euros to expand the Zhangjiang plant, increasing the company’s production and supply capacity and competitiveness, ultimately enabling more patients to benefit from quality medicine across China. With this expansion, the number of employees at the plant will rise significantly from around 240 today to approximately 350, doubling the production capacity. The expanded plant will be able to meet the growing healthcare needs in China and will produce a new pipeline of products in addition to its existing products including solid, liquid, ampoule and metered dose inhalers.

"We have a vision to build the China plant into one of our core global operation units," said Prof. Wolfram Carius, adding, "The plant in China will not only serve the local market with top quality medicines but will develop into a full fledged launch site of our innovative product portfolio e.g. in diabetes." The first phase of the scaling-up project will be finalized later this year.

Prof. Wolfram Carius also added that with the establishment of a long-term strategic cooperation with our Chinese partners in API supply, China is now a fundamental pillar of Boehringer Ingelheim’s global supply chain network. This year the company will celebrate the 5-year anniversary strategic partnership with HISOAR in Taizhou, Zhejiang, China.

Preparing To Propel Forward With Biopharmaceuticals

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the leading contract manufacturers of biologics worldwide, with a strong network of sites in Biberach, Germany and Vienna, Austria as well as in Fremont, USA. Boehringer Ingelheim soon will bring this core global strength to China by establishing key strategic partnerships to enter China’s biopharmaceutical market.

"We have a long-term commitment to advance healthcare in China and are excited about bringing our biopharmaceutical expertise to the market by working closely with our Chinese partners in order to jointly meet the growing health needs of China's population." Prof. Wolfram Carius disclosed, adding "We are partnering with the Shanghai government and other related bodies to establish a facility and platform for the high quality development and supply of innovative monoclonal antibody products for domestic and multinational companies in China."

Once successfully launched, Boehringer Ingelheim will introduce its world-class biopharmaceutical technology through these planned partnerships – details of which will soon be announced – and will be the first market entry of a leading international contract manufacturer into the China biologics market, which is expected to be one of the significant growth sectors supported by China’s12th Five-Year Plan.

China’s perspective important for Research and Development

In February this year Boehringer Ingelheim announced the prioritization of China’s research and development insights, in-line with those from the United States and Europe. As such, Boehringer Ingelheim is integrating China’s specific needs into the early stages of clinical assessment of new drugs; ensuring Chinese patients will gain earlier access to new and innovative medicines to support unmet medical needs.

"With strong growth across each strategic focus area, Boehringer Ingelheim is now stepping into a significant growth and development stage," commented Dr. Andreas Barner, "In 2013, Boehringer Ingelheim China is planned to achieve continued double digit growth with the contribution of all key business areas. By continuing to build on our strengths, and adhere to our unwavering commitment to innovation, we aim to belong to the top international pharmaceutical companies in China. In realizing our goal we will provide people in China with early access to more innovative and better products, improving health and quality of life also for patients in China."

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