Boehringer Ingelheim Creates New China External Innovation Hub


With its brand new hub in Shanghai dedicated to research, business development and venture funding, German pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim is taking a step further toward accessing innovation from the Chinese biotech industry.


Boehringer Ingelheim has its sights set on establishing a deeper rapport with the Chinese biotech sector. The firm recently unveiled its new External Innovation hub located in Shanghai that aims to connect its R&D and business development groups with local drug developers. 


Boehringer increasingly sees China’s booming biotech industry as a source for innovative pharmaceutical products and has strategically chosen Shanghai for its hub in order for its venture funding group to evaluate promising programmes. Furthermore, its research unit, ‘Research Beyond Borders’, plans to explore cutting-edge technologies being developed in China.


With an eye toward accessing innovation in Asia, Boehringer has already begun to invest millions in promising candidates. It has pledged over USD 40 million as well as USD 830 million in milestones for a steatohepatitis candidate at Yuhan Corporation in Korea. It also signed a deal for a fibrotic disease drug with Enleofen in Singapore. All in all, the firm plans to invest more than USD 500 million in China over the next five years.


Boehringer’s China president Felix Gutsche was appointed in 2019 with the mandate to integrate the China affiliate into the global organisation, which will enhance understanding of and investment in the China market. In 2019, Gutsche told PharmaBoardroom that “Like many other Big Pharma companies, the global corporate organization has traditionally been more US- and Euro-centric but today, it needs to be more China-centric.”

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