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BI exits virology research as hep C drugs move down pipeline
 
 
  pharmatimes

World News | September 19, 2012

Boehringer Ingelheim is ending its virology research programme, a move which will result in the closure of its facility in Quebec, Canada.

The winding-down of virology will result in the closure of the German company's site in Laval during the first quarter of 2013, and will lead to the loss of 170 employees. Michel Pairet, the board member responsible for R&D, noted that in virology, compared to other therapeutic areas in which the company is conducting research, "the demands for medical innovation are shifting significantly due to the availability of new medications and also the emphasis on prevention through vaccination, a field in which Boehringer is not active".

He added that "with the renewed focus on the diseases of high unmet medical need, and considering the scientific possibilities, we decided to conclude virology research. Theodore Witek, president of Boehringer in Canada, stressed that the decision "is not a reflection on the work done by our employees at the Laval facility, which has been consistently of the highest quality". He went on to say that "we are treating all affected employees with fairness and respect in recognition of their contributions and service".

Boehringer's best-known products in virology are the antivirals Aptivus (tipranavir) and Viramune (nevirapine) which have been on the market for a long time as AIDS treatments. It is also been working on two oral drugs for hepatitis C, namely BI 201335, an NS3/4A protease inhibitor in Phase III and BI 207127, an NS5B RNA-dependent polymerase inhibitor in Phase II.

Boehringer spokeswoman Julia Meyer-Kleinmann told PharmaTimes World News that the development side will continue and as for the two hep C compounds, "we are further developing them full speed with high priority". She added that all is going to plan with BI 201335 and BI 207127.

The company will now focus on six therapeutic areas: respiratory, cardiometabolic, oncology, neurology, immunology and infectious diseases.

Laval lab to close, 170 will lose jobs

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Boehringer Ingelheim is getting out of virology and will shut down a Quebec research facility, eliminating 170 positions in the process.

Boehringer's Dr. Michael Pairet, SVP responsible for R&D, cast the move as part of an effort to refocus the firm's R&D portfolio on areas of unmet need.

"In virology, compared to other therapeutic areas in which Boehringer Ingelheim is conducting research, the demands for medical innovation are shifting significantly due to the availability of new medications and also the emphasisi on prevention through vaccination, a field in which Boehringer Ingelheim is not active. With the renewed focus on the diseases of high unmet medical need, and considering the scientific possibilities, we decided to conclude virology research at Boehringer Ingelheim," he said.

Boehringer had product candidates for hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS in development. Marketed products in that area include antiretrovirals Viramune and Aptivus.

Boehringer Ingelheim to conclude virology research programme; part of renewed strategic focus on areas of high medical need

BURLINGTON, ON, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Boehringer Ingelheim announced today that it will conclude its virology research programme, following a comprehensive review of its research areas and priorities.

"To ensure our sustained growth, competitiveness and independence, Boehringer Ingelheim has been focusing on areas of high medical need in which we have convincing research targets as well as outstanding capabilities," said Dr. Michel Pairet, Corporate Senior Vice President responsible for Research and Development at Boehringer Ingelheim.

"In virology, compared to other therapeutic areas in which Boehringer Ingelheim is conducting research, the demands for medical innovation are shifting significantly due to the availability of new medications and also the emphasis on prevention through vaccination, a field in which Boehringer Ingelheim is not active. With the renewed focus on the diseases of high unmet medical need, and considering the scientific possibilities, we decided to conclude virology research at Boehringer Ingelheim" added Dr. Pairet.

The winding down of virology research activities will result in the closure of a research facility in Laval, Quebec, Canada during the first quarter of 2013, and will impact approximately 170 employees.

"This decision is not a reflection on the work done by our employees at the Laval facility, which has been consistently of the highest quality. We are proud of their many achievements," said Dr. Theodore Witek, President and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. "Consistent with our corporate values, we are treating all affected employees with fairness and respect in recognition of their contributions and service."

Boehringer Ingelheim remains committed to improving access to medicines and health care in developing countries, including for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Through changing the focus on therapeutic areas in which Boehringer Ingelheim is active this allows the company to be well positioned to continue bringing innovative products, from our own research and development, to patients around the world.

Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 44,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. is home to more than 700 employees across the country.

 
 
 
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