Laureate's clients will now gain access to the German giant's high expression technology platform as well as its large manufacturing capabilities for biopharmaceuticals produced by mammalian cell culture.
The new collaboration with Boehringer will add to Laureate's current services which include process development and manufacture of early-stage clinical supplies conducted at its facility in New Jersey.
"We view this partnership as a great way to provide our clients with a complete path from clinical-scale production at Laureate to large-scale commercial manufacturing at Boehringer Ingelheim," said Robert Broeze, president and CEO of Laureate Pharma.
"Working together, Laureate Pharma and Boehringer Ingelheim offer a comprehensive menu of manufacturing solutions in the United States and Europe."
Mammalian cell culture is a platform increasingly being used by biotech companies, pharmaceutical firms moving into the biopharma space, as the number of new biologic drugs continues to invade pharma pipelines.
Undeniably, biotechnology-based drugs have also now become a particular focus for contract manufacturers trying to maintain a competitive edge.
By its very nature, biomanufacturing is a very complex, costly and labour-intensive process, and these factors, coupled with staggering costs of building biomanufacturing facilities, are forcing many biopharma firms to turn to outsourcing for help as they struggle to make enough products to meet escalating demand.
According to a recent report published by Kalorama Information, biomanufacturing is unsurprisingly the fastest growing segment in the contract-manufacturing sector and is currently estimated at around $2.5bn (€1.9bn) for 2006.
Through this new deal, Laureate is trying to get a bigger chunk of this lucrative market by offering its clients new bioprocessing services including creation and development of production cell lines using Boehringer's proprietary bi-hex high expression system.
Bi-hex is an integrated platform including eukaryotic expression vectors, production cell lines and process development for fast-track cell line development. With its mammalian cell culture technology, Boehringer produces complex and highly glycosylated therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies.
Morover, Laureate's customers will have access to large-scale commercial production by the Germany-based manufacturer at its Biberach facility.
The two companies said they will now harmonise bioprocessing methods to ensure seamless transfer of manufacturing activities from Laureate to Boehringer.
"Our process know-how allows state of the art and time to clinic development at Laureate as well as smooth technology transfer to our commercial manufacturing," said Rolf Werner, senior vice president of Corporate Division Biopharmaceuticals at Boehringer.
This latest partnership comes just a few months after Laureate invested $9m to expand its biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in New Jersey with a new pilot production plant, as the company seeks more capacity to cope with increased demand from clients for protein-based products.