Medicines Obtained from Cells: Boehringer Ingelheim Builds Europa’s Largest Biotechnology Development Center

© Boehringer Ingelheim / Michael Kettel Fotografie
The investment in Biberach brings together biopharmaceutical development activities and boosts capacity.

A laboratory the size of five soccer fields and a EUR 350 million investment: pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany's second-largest drug manufacturer, has opened a new biotechnology development center in the city of Biberach, located in the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. This is where drugs are developed from cell cultures, and are used to treat cancer or immune diseases, for example. Drees & Sommer supported the company from execution planning to commissioning. The company specializes in construction and real estate consulting services.

Biopharmaceuticals are currently one of the fastest growing medicinal product segments in the pharmaceutical industry. They open up therapeutic options for serious illnesses such as cancer or multiple sclerosis. The largest research and development center of Boehringer Ingelheim is located in Biberach now. In the new building complex, the Biologicals Development Center, around 500 employees will manufacture active agents, from laboratory scale through clinical trials.

A cleanroom concept ensures optimum working conditions and combines office, laboratory and production areas. ‘The building provides the Development Biologicals section with state-of-the-art infrastructure and flexible equipment. The design of the building enables us to bring employees who develop processes, manufacture active agents and understand molecules into a very open exchange of ideas. The future will see them working closely together at this site, carrying out development at the highest level,‘ explains Ralf Schumacher, who heads the biotechnological development team at Boehringer Ingelheim.

In this context, the pharmaceutical company placed high demands on the new building: ‘Quality standards of life sciences projects are extremely demanding and time pressure in super fast track projects is very high. Pharmaceutical quality assurance systems have to be included in the planning and construction phases already. If this is not the case, deadlines and budgets will not be met. This is why we apply an integrated project management approach. Planning, construction and process technology are conceived as one unit and coordinated with each other as much as possible,’ says Stefan Göstl, Associate Partner and Head of Life Sciences & Chemicals at Drees & Sommer.

Find more information in our press release.