For Boehringer Ingelheim too, currency reforms and "economic miracles" provided a sound framework for continued growth. In 1955, the general economic boom that accompanied reconstruction saw a fourfold increase in the number of employees on that of 1939. New and highly effective pharmaceutical products were launched in the late 1950s, forming the basis of Boehringer Ingelheim’s research programme: agents for the treatment of respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.
The importance of foreign markets for a chemical/pharmaceutical concern was recognised by the founder's second son, Dr Ernst Boehringer. A home-based subsidiary was established in 1946 in Biberach an der Riss when the Thomae production unit was added to Boehringer Ingelheim’s two existing plants. The first foreign subsidiary, which was established in Vienna in 1948, was followed by more subsidiaries in Europe and overseas.
Following the death of Albert and Ernst Boehringer, Julius Liebrecht becomes Chairman of the Board in 1965. His son, Hubertus Liebrecht, joins the Board of Managing Directors in 1967 and is appointed Chairman in 1971. Albert’s son, Dr Wilhelm Boehringer, is also a member of the Board of Managing Directors, joining in 1967, and heads the Production and Technology division until his untimely death in 1975 at the age of 44.
From the 1950s until the late 1980s, Boehringer Ingelheim launches a number of important and innovative products onto the market, including the respiratory agents Alupent® (1961), Bisolvon® (1963), Berotec® (1972), Atrovent® (1975) and Berodual® (1980).
Among its products used in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system, Boehringer Ingelheim launches Catapresan® (1966), which uses a new active principle in the treatment of hypertension. This is followed by Mexitil® (1979), which is used in the treatment of arrhythmia.
In 1977, the company launches Asasantin®, which is used in the treatment of thromboses and embolisms and combines the effects of Persantin®(1959) and acetylsalicylic acid (ASS). This is followed in 1979 by the mucolytic agent Mucosolvan®.
The launch of Actilyse® in 1987 is, in two ways, a milestone for Boehringer Ingelheim. Not only is it the first thrombolytic treatment for acute heart attacks, but it is also Boehringer Ingelheim’s first proprietary product developed at its biopharmaceutical production site, which opened the year before.
Founding of the first foreign subsidiary: Bender & Co. GmbH in Vienna (now Regional Center Vienna).
Thanks to the efforts of Robert Boehringer, 1949 sees the beginning of a long and successful partnership with the Swiss pharmaceutical company J. R. Geigy AG in Basel. Thomae gains the licence for the production and sole distribution of Geigy’s pharmaceutical specialities in Germany.
Effortil® (for improved circulation), Vasculat® (a vasodilator) and Visadron® (eye drops) are launched.
1951 sees the launch of Buscopan®, a spasmolytic agent of plant origin used in the treatment of gastrointestinal problems.
The first company apartments are built in Biberach an der Riss.
Boehringer Ingelheim Espana S.A. is founded in Barcelona (Spain).
The Animal Health division is set up as the company takes over Pfizer’s veterinary programme.
Business operations in Japan are expanded, although Nippon C. H. Boehringer Sohn Co. Ltd. is not founded until 1961.
Business operations in Italy are expanded and C. H. Boehringer Sohn SRL is founded in Florence (Italy).
Boehringer de Angeli Quimica e Farmaceutica Ltda. is founded in Sao Paulo (Brazil).
Boehringer Ingelheim S. A. is founded in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
C.H. Boehringer Sohn Ltd. is founded in Toronto (Canada).
Thomae carries out highly successful R&D activities culminating in the launch of Persantin®, a product used in the treatment of coronary heart disease.
First "International Days" in Ingelheim. Dr Ernst Boehringer launches the "International Days" to promote the appreciation and understanding of different cultures. With a variety of events and an art exhibition, this event, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009, is a highlight of the town’s calendar.
1960 sees the launch of Silomat®, a product used in the treatment of chesty coughs.
The company founder’s eldest son, Albert Boehringer jr., dies on 11 February aged 69.
Boehringer Ingelheim celebrates its 75th anniversary.
1961 sees the launch of Alupent®, a respiratory agent that increases therapeutic competence for respiratory disease.
The Japanese foreign subsidiary, Nippon Boehringer, is founded.
The Institute for Pharmaceutical Research focusing on virology and pharmacology is established in Vienna.
Mexicana de Alcaloides S. A. de C. V. is founded in Orizaba (Mexico).
Boehringer Ingelheim Limited is founded in Bracknell (Great Britain).
1963 sees the launch of Bisolvon®, a respiratory agent developed in Biberach and the first secretolytic (mucolytic) agent resulting from the company's own research. Researchers achieve a breakthrough with the product’s further development and the active agent Ambroxol.
Dr Ernst Boehringer dies on 11 January aged 69. The company now employs 9,300 people worldwide and achieves sales of DM 543 million (approximately 278 million euro).
1966 sees the launch of Catapresan®, an anti-hypertensive drug with a novel mode of action.
Dr Wilhelm Boehringer and Hubertus Liebrecht, the grandsons of the company’s founder, join the Board of Managing Directors.
A new research unit is established in Kawanashi in Japan.
The foreign subsidiary Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is founded in Ridgefield, Connecticut (USA), and expanded to become the company’s North American research centre.
The respiratory agent Berotec® is launched.
Boehringer Ingelheim CA is founded in Caracas, Venezuela.
Boehringer Ingelheim Canada Ltd. is founded in Montreal (relocated to Burlington, Ontario, in 1978).
Celamerck GmbH & Co. KG is founded in Darmstadt as a merger of Cela Ingelheim and Merck’s crop protection business. Both companies have a 50% share in the business.
The production of lactic acid is discontinued.
Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH is founded as the German holding company for the foreign subsidiaries in the Group.
Robert Boehringer dies on 9 August.
Julius Liebrecht dies on 13 September.
1975 sees the launch of Atrovent®, a drug used in the treatment of chronic respiratory tract diseases.
Dr Wilhelm Boehringer dies on 12 January.
The partnership established in 1949 with the Swiss pharmaceutical company J. R. Geigy AG at the initiative of Robert Boehringer comes to an end.
1977 sees the launch of Asasantin®, a product used in the treatment of thromboses and embolisms.
1978 sees the founding of a new company, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, from the former veterinary medicine department.
1979 sees the launch of Mexitil®, a product used in the treatment of arrhythmia.
1979 sees the launch of Mucosolvan®, a product used in the treatment of bronchitis.
The bronchospasmolytic drug Berodual® is launched.
Boehringer Ingelheim KG is founded for operations in Germany.
C. H. Boehringer Sohn becomes the holding company for companies in Germany, while the newly formed Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH becomes the holding company for companies abroad.
The production of citric acid is discontinued. This marks the end of Boehringer Ingelheim’s work in the area of organic acids, an area that played a key role in the company’s early economic success.
Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF), a foundation for basic medical research, is established.
Boehringer Ingelheim celebrates its centenary. The company now employs 22,254 people (8,784 in Germany) and achieves sales of DM 4.528 billion (approximately 2.315 billion euro).
The Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) is established in Vienna as a joint venture with Genentech, Inc. (USA). The institute opens in 1988. Since 1993, the IMP has been solely owned by Boehringer Ingelheim.
The biotechnological centre in Biberach starts production. Following investment of around DM 150 million (approximately 77 million euro), it is Europe’s largest plant for the production of biopharmaceuticals from cell cultures.
Actilyse®, which is used in the treatment of acute heart attacks and is the first biotech product manufactured by Thomae / Boehringer Ingelheim, is officially approved.
Celamerck GmbH is sold.
Boehringer Ingelheim acquires the Bio-Méga research centre in Laval (Canada).