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Boehringer Ingelheim Plans to Dial-Down R&D

Boehringer Ingelheim Plans to Dial-Down R&D

Germany-based pharmaceutical developer Boehringer Ingelheim has plans to slash its R&D budget over the next five years, and focus on growing their collaborator base to fund new therapies in the pipeline. The drugmaker plans to decrease R&D spending by approximately 17 percent.

Boehringer Ingelheim says they plan to spend €11 billion ($11.8 billion) on research and development from now until 2020; a budget that gives the company €2.2 billion ($2.5 billion) to spend on pharmaceutical development per year. Last year, the pharmaceutical developer spent €2.7 billion ($2.9 billion) on R&D.

According to the company, their switch in focus towards collaborations will help them stretch every euro. Boehringer Ingelheim plans to use €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) of the 5-year budget for new R&D deals, specifically looking to work with academics, biotech start-ups and crowdfunding programs.

The drugmaker has had a hand in the translational medicine field for the past year, specifically looking for new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. Boehringer Ingelheim has penned research agreements with the Icahn School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Scripps Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medicine.

The company has also collaborated with BioMed X – a crowdfunding company in which researchers from around the world may submit their ideas on potential research programs. “Our new strategy embraces the trend towards more extensive open-innovation approaches between academia and industry in biomedical research,” said Michel Pairet, Boehringer Ingelheim’s executive vice president of R&D.

“The new strategy will foster our external collaboration efforts by enabling us to be faster and more flexible, said Pairet. “This is of essence for research beyond the borders of our current focus areas, where we explore emerging science, new indications and new technology to expand opportunities.”

Boehringer Ingelheim’s forward-thinking approach in favour of collaboration over vertically-integrated R&D, is right on-trend with many of the big players in the pharmaceutical industry. Novartis, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have all taken steps to explore a more open-ended approach to research and new drug discovery.