The shareholders' perspective
We look back on a successful financial year 2019, in which Boehringer Ingelheim made another important contribution to human and animal health. Our medicines have improved the quality of life and given patients more years to live.
This is possible because we have relied on the power of innovation for many decades. We invest sustainably, continuously, and to an increasing extent. Our innovative strength is the basis of our company’s independence. To reach patients, we need to have a competitive offer. We need to fulfil our promise of quality and convince with the value of our contribution. Over the past few years, we have done this well.
2020 is a special year – for the shareholders as well as the company – and especially for the many colleagues who are involved in our Making More Health (MMH) initiative. MMH is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Since its foundation, MMH is making an important contribution to improving healthcare for people worldwide. Currently, more than 100 social entrepreneurs are active in the MMH network in around 40 countries. An impressive record for a young initiative with a timeless mission.
Our sincere thanks go to all our employees who, together and with great personal commitment, contributed to the development of Boehringer Ingelheim this past year. They have laid the foundation for a successful future.
Chairman of the Shareholders' Committee
The board of managing directors
The board of managing directors
We all learn every day in our personal environment and from the media how great the need for innovative medicines is. New therapies are urgently needed, whether for common diseases or for those that are rare and affect the lives or health of only few.
At Boehringer Ingelheim, we have set ourselves the goal of making a decisive contribution to improving human and animal health. This task inspires and drives us every day.
We focus on diseases for which there is a great medical need due to the lack of therapeutic options. The outbreaks of African swine fever and COVID-19 remind us that pharmaceutical progress in human and veterinary medicine continues to be highly important to society. We take advantage of advances in science that offer new approaches and rely on the strengths we have developed in the more than 130 years of our company history. In the Human Pharma business, we are working on over 100 clinical and preclinical research and development projects involving 60 new active ingredients. Last year, ten active ingredients were tested in the clinical environment for the first time. More than 30 percent of the active ingredients in our pipeline come from collaboration with external researchers.
Bridging the gap between industry and science is essential for us. In research, we collaborate on more than 150 projects with around 120 academic institutions on three continents. For example, since 1993 we have funded basic biomedical research at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna. The IMP has enjoyed an excellent reputation for decades.
Our drugs help save human lives. For example, it can be assumed that from its launch in 2014, JARDIANCE® will extend the lives of type 2 diabetes patients treated with it by more than 1.5 million patient-years, if they continue treatment. Also, ACTILYSE® remains a vital and irreplaceable medicine for millions of stroke patients worldwide, more than 30 years since its market launch.
Besides the development of innovative active ingredients, the topic of sustainability plays an increasingly important role in drug development. Last year we launched the reusable RESPIMAT® inhaler for our respiratory products SPIRIVA® and SPIOLTO®. The reusable RESPIMAT® should eliminate 776 metric tons of plastic waste and 14,300 metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2025.
In the area of animal health, the consequences of African swine fever hit our customers in China particularly hard. Unfortunately, this is a very insidious virus and the development of a vaccine is challenging and takes a long time. We are facing this challenge together with our partners in China and Europe. On the way to new products, we initiated over 400 clinical trials worldwide last year and received over 200 product approvals, including for Arti-Cell® Forte in Europe, the first stem cell-based veterinary therapy for the treatment of lameness in horses.
Boehringer Ingelheim has a strong, yet flexible production network. Within this network, the production of medicines in Europe also continues to play an important role. In order to remain competitive in the long term, our current investment program for the expansion of European production facilities has a volume of more than one billion euros. This year we will inaugurate a new production facility for biopharmaceutical products in Vienna. This is the single largest capital investment ever made by our company. We plan to use the facility both for the production of our own portfolio and for third party contract manufacturing. An important milestone for our Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing was also the first market approval of a biologic produced by Boehringer Ingelheim in Shanghai for the Chinese market.
2019 was a very successful year in terms of our performance. This enabled us to further strengthen the basis of our independence and allowed for investments in innovation and R&D for urgently needed drugs, as well as for capital investments.
We would like to thank our customers for their trust and our partners for their support. Our special thanks go to our employees. They laid the foundation for our success this past year and for the future – often as “pioneers” in their respective fields. Together, we share the goal to make a contribution to human and animal health.
HUBERTUS VON BAUMBACH
JEAN SCHEFTSIK DE SZOLNOK