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$36M, state-of-the-art research centre officially inaugurated


Laval, QC – Boehringer Ingelheim has inaugurated a new, $36-million leading-edge laboratory in Laval that is designed to support research into treatments for serious infectious diseases. The company says it will be able to hire 40 additional high-calibre scientists who will join an existing team of 150 researchers.

“On behalf of Boehringer Ingelheim, I am proud to be in Laval to mark this historic day within the company as we celebrate this new expansion project,” said Christian Boehringer, chairman of the shareholders committee – Boehringer Ingelheim. “The Laval facility has contributed to scientific discovery in the area of virology that may not only help patients in Canada, but around the world. This site is expected to make an even greater contribution to the translation of scientific discoveries into drugs which help patients.”

As one of the four principal research centres for the company worldwide, the Laval facility focuses on the discovery of new treatments for Hepatitis C and the human immunodeficiency virus infection, diseases for which either no vaccine exists or current therapy is unsatisfactory.

“We are glad to see how the Laval facility will increase its capacities for playing an important role in the company’s global research network of four major and three support sites,” says Dr Andreas Barner, vice-chairman of the board of managing directors and head of corporate board division pharma research, development and medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim. “We are drawing upon talent here in Quebec and Canada to discover and develop medicines that will help in the fight against the growing problem of infectious virological diseases around the world, in particular Hepatitis C and HIV infection.”

“At the heart of this investment is Boehringer Ingelheim’s strong and sustained dedication to carrying out innovative research that supports products of high therapeutic value,” said Ian Mills, president and chief executive officer, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada). “A substantial investment such as this clearly demonstrates the company’s support for Canadian-based research. For this to continue we need federal legislative and regulatory action which ensures protection of intellectual property and encourages innovation. Discovery of innovative medicines to meet unmet therapeutic need is very important but equally important is that patients have access to innovative medicines as soon as possible. In Quebec we encourage the Government to ensure innovative medicines are made available to patients in a timely and fair manner.”

The company says it invested close to $100 million in research and development in Canada in 2007, with close to $50 million in Laval and the remainder in medical clinical trials.