Boehringer bails out of virology R&D

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Boehringer Ingelheim is getting out of virology and will shut down a Quebec research facility, eliminating 170 positions in the process.

Boehringer's Dr. Michael Pairet, SVP responsible for R&D, cast the move as part of an effort to refocus the firm's R&D portfolio on areas of unmet need.

“In virology, compared to other therapeutic areas in which Boehringer Ingelheim is conducting research, the demands for medical innovation are shifting significantly due to the availability of new medications and also the emphasisi on prevention through vaccination, a field in which Boehringer Ingelheim is not active. With the renewed focus on the diseases of high unmet medical need, and considering the scientific possibilities, we decided to conclude virology research at Boehringer Ingelheim,” he said.

Boehringer's virology franchise included pipeline candidates for hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. The company said it will continue work on its HCV portfolio, including faldaprevir, an investigational oral HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor in Phase III; BI207127, a NS5B RNA-dependent polymerase inhbitor in Phase II trials as part of an interferon-free regimen; and the company's clinical trial program HCVerso. Marketed products in that area include antiretrovirals Viramune and Aptivus.

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