Boehringer Ingelheim has a vision: this research-driven pharmaceutical company wants to create a world where animals no longer suffer from avoidable diseases, because targeted prevention work will help stop them from occurring in the first place. Boehringer Ingelheim is convinced that, when animals are healthy, humans are healthier too.
To realise this vision, Boehringer Ingelheim acquired Merial, the animal health business of the pharmaceutical company Sanofi, in January 2017. The acquisition brings together two highly compatible portfolios to strengthen Boehringer Ingelheim’s competitiveness in the field of animal health: following the integration of Merial, its net sales in animal health have more than doubled and now provide more than one fifth of its total group net sales. With around 10,000 employees in this business unit worldwide, Boehringer Ingelheim now offers animal health products in over 150 markets.
Merial and Boehringer Ingelheim fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. While Boehringer Ingelheim was a leader in the livestock segment, Merial brought leadership in companion animals such as cats and dogs.
The combination of these strengths enables Boehringer Ingelheim to take full advantage of the market’s potential. This potential is enormous:
Boehringer Ingelheim is optimally positioned with its integrated product portfolio which now features more than 200 products for dogs, cats, horses, pigs, cattle and poultry. Following its acquisition of Merial, Boehringer Ingelheim is now the second-biggest player in the global animal health market. Its goal for the next years is clear: Boehringer Ingelheim aims to become the market leader in animal health by 2025. Today, the company is already the leader in the areas of vaccines and parasiticides. And Boehringer Ingelheim is also the number one in pets, equine and swine and in the field of veterinary public health. It now aims to catch up in poultry and cattle.
Boehringer Ingelheim has a long tradition on prevention in animal health. Following the integration of Merial, and thanks to strategic partnerships with external partners such as Novozymes, Boehringer Ingelheim is able to offer even more innovative solutions — now and in the future.
Partnership with Novozymes
In order to further boost its expertise in the field of prevention, Boehringer Ingelheim entered into a strategic partnership with Danish biotech company Novozymes in March 2017. Over the next ten years, the new partners want to work together to develop live therapeutic products for poultry hatcheries. While Novozymes will be responsible for the research and development work, Boehringer Ingelheim will market the differentiated solutions, with the first product in line being FLORAMAX®, a probiotic product from the Novozymes portfolio.
Probiotics are becoming increasingly important as alternatives to antibiotics. As such, they could also play a major role in preventive health: living microbes have a positive impact on the intestinal flora balance of poultry and other animals, thereby providing specific health benefits. In some cases, they produce distinct compounds that will help the immune system to mature – leading to a healthier gut. The first probiotic product from the Boehringer Ingelheim
and Novozymes alliance is currently in the test phase and is set for market launch during 2018.
NEXGARD® to combat parasites
If dogs get fleas, owners soon face a challenge. The pests burrow deep into the dog’s fur and skin and like to jump into their surroundings. Untreated, fleas can cause health problems in dogs and humans, just as ticks can. This makes prevention all the more important.
Thanks to the integration of Merial, Boehringer Ingelheim’s portfolio now includes the NEXGARD® family of medicines: NEXGARD® is administered as a beef-flavoured chew and, at its launch, was the first oral medication to treat both fleas and ticks in dogs. It is currently the best-selling pet medication in the animal health industry.1 In certain markets, Boehringer Ingelheim recently launched NEXGARD® spectra which adds protection for dogs against certain internal parasites.
Yet competition is fierce on the animal health market. Research and development is a key factor for future success and growth. Around 1,200 scientists and support staff are conducting research at more than 20 sites globally in order to stem the spread of diseases before they even occur. As well as its core segments of vaccines, parasiticides and pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim intends to expand its pet health care, diagnostics and live therapeutics segments, so as to be able to offer its customers even broader solutions in the future.