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BI opens ‘Centre of Competence’ opens as part of a €100m China plan

By Alexandria Pešić , 02-Sep-2010

Boehringer Ingelheim has opened its ‘Centre of Competence’ (CoC) in Shanghai to optimise API and chemical intermediates sourcing in China.

Spokeswoman Heidrun Thoma told in-pharmatechnologist that the CoC, which covers a 2000m2 area at Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Pudong, is part of the company’s €100m investment plan in China.

“BI’s headquarters in China are located in Shanghai,” Thoma continued, explaining how this location will be suited to CoC, as the facility “can get full support in terms of finance HR and IT.”

The German company has been dynamic in sourcing APIs in East Asia, and establishing the CoC will allow the company to “further optimise the production process of local partners and secure the quality of the intermediates procured in China," said Thoma.

These thoughts were echoed by David Preston, CEO of Boehringer, who said: “optimising the production process of [the company’s] partners and securing the quality of the intermediates, China will play a stronger role in the company’s global procurement efforts.”

Process optimisation focus

Activities at the new facility are split into two divisions: Process Development (PD) and Quality Control (QC), which will focus on process optimisation and technology transfer to Boehringer’s partners in China; areas the company hope will improve operational efficiency.

Alongside this, Boehringer’s QC department will provide full analytical supports for PD and will test and release all chemical ingredients originating from China to ensure they comply with active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) production standards.

In 2009, Boehringer posted net sales of €12.7bn, spending 21 per cent of this in its largest business segment, prescription medicines, on research and development.

Now, the company have proposed to expand pharmaceutical production capacity at its Shanghai plant in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park.

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