Economy & Politics

Boehringer Ingelheim defies corona crisis

Confidence prevails at the headquarters in Ingelheim. Photo: / Fredrik von Erichsen / dpa

The German pharmaceutical manufacturer presents stable half-year figures. The group is not looking for a vaccine against corona, but is looking for a drug.

Ingelheim – The drug manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim has survived the corona year so far almost unscathed. As of June 30, the group had sales of 9.7 billion euros worldwide, which corresponds to an increase of 4.4 percent over the same period last year. Difficulties in logistics have been mastered, said Germany boss Sabine Nikolaus on Thursday at the headquarters in Ingelheim. After the outbreak of the pandemic, “the stockpiling was extreme in some countries” – later wholesalers and clinics reduced their stocks again significantly. According to Nikolaus, she hopes that the solid development will continue in the second half of the year; she did not want to give a specific outlook. In 2019, the pharmaceutical manufacturer achieved total sales of 19 billion euros and after-tax profits of 2.7 billion euros (2018: 2.1 billion).

Boehringer is not involved in research into a vaccine against Covid-19. According to the Medical Director Petra Moroni-Zentgraf, intensive research is being carried out instead into whether in-house antibodies, which have previously been used to combat HIV and hepatitis C, could also be suitable against the new viral disease. It had already “been identified a candidate”. The hope is that new antibodies will quickly attack and neutralize the virus, preventing infection. This could be important, for example, for people with previous illnesses for whom it could take too long for a vaccine to take effect in the body. According to a spokesman, more than 100 employees in the group, linked together in a cross-location network, are currently working in Covid research, a double-digit million amount will be spent on it. Boehringer claims that it does not receive any tax aid or public funding for this.

No downsizing planned

According to Germany boss Nikolaus, the number of employees should be kept largely stable in the coming months. The group employs 51,000 people worldwide, almost 16,000 of them at four locations in Germany. The largest is Ingelheim with 8,800 employees, followed by Biberach in Oberschwaben with a good 6,000. Other locations are Dortmund and Hanover.


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