MD Boehringer Ingelheim

- M ARTIN BECK ∕ MD Boehringer Ingelheim

Keeping the world in fine fettle is no easy task, but someone’s got to do it. Luckily Boehringer Ingelheim has Martin Beck as the managing director of its Human Pharma Germany business to call on as it strives to create ground-breaking medicines to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

Boehringer Ingelheim is driven by one goal: to improve the health of humans and animals alike. Since being founded by Albert Boehringer in Germany in 1885, the pharmaceut­ical company has become one of the biggest in the world and continues to better countless lives with its selfless ambition. Headquarte­red in Ingelheim, it operates globally with 176 affiliates and has some 50,000 employees on its books. One thing that sets it apart from the industry is that it’s family-owned, so Boehringer Ingelheim has benefitted from unparallel­ed commitment, trust, and leadership from day one. MD Martin Beck has been part of the company’s clear vision over the last two decades – he started out as a scholarshi­p student 17 years ago before rising to the top. Despite his impressive tenure, he looks as fresh as the day he first walked in through the door (sadly Boehringer Ingelheim hasn’t found a way to reverse aging …yet). One of Martin’s tasks is to make sure his team continues to pioneer cutting-edge treatments for an array of diseases and illnesses from diabetes to stroke prevention.

“Serving mankind is at the heart of what we do here at Boehringer Ingelheim,” Martin says.

“We’re 100% focused on patients and determined to improve the health of millions of people around the world. To do this we are driven by innovation and research.”

Preparing today for tomorrow

Since becoming MD at the beginning of 2019, Martin has worked tirelessly to build on an already successful strategy. He speaks of agility, accountabi­lity, and intraprene­urship feeding creativity in medicine and engaging with customers in novel ways. Countless people rely on the medicines the company produces, which as you can imagine means a tonne of responsibi­lity rests on Martin’sshoulders. Luckily, he’s well versed in keeping a cool head.

“We think long-term and have a plan set out. We have many clinical and pre-clinical projects in the pipeline in different therapeuti­c areas, like oncology and immunology, as well as cardiometa­bolic and respirator­y diseases,” he explains. “We are driving this research further and currently looking at 90 preclinica­l and clinical pipeline projects. We use this term because nothing is certain in this line of research. We want to bring value through innovation – our goal is to approve 15 new drugs

with an adjusted probabilit­y by 2025.”

Bringing products to market can be a real challenge in the pharma game. There are so many stages of clinical research and testing that need to be passed before a new medicine is approved by internatio­nal governing bodies. To release a particular drug worldwide means meeting all of the different standards in each country, but Martin says no mountain is too tall.

“For us it’s really about driving a customer-focused mindset and we have great products in our hands. We are inspired to improve these products and make them available to people,” he explains. “The company is preparing today for tomorrow, we’re operating in a research-driven business, there are always cycles of products coming in and products going out, we are juggling many balls at once!”

Boehringer Ingelheim’s drugs really set it apart from the competitio­n. For example, Spiriva is the most prescribed medicine in chronic obstructiv­e pulmonary disease (COPD). Jardiance is another example – it’s used to treat type 2 diabetes and won the 2018 Prix Galien Internatio­nal Award

for Best Pharmaceut­ical Product. The accolade marks the first time a pharma product for diabetes has shown survival benefits for patients. Another milestone was achieved with the launch of Pradaxa, the first oral anti-coagulant to hit the market which prevents strokes and blood clots in patients with abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillati­on). The company’s exceptiona­lly high investment in research is a huge reason for this success.

Trust equals progress

As a family-owned organisati­on, Boehringer Ingelheim thinks in generation­s as opposed to quarters, like many stock-listed companies. Everything it does is geared towards the long-term and sustainabl­e commitment to patient and animal health. As Martin explains: “This is not only a benefit to the outside world but also internally for employees like me. To build an approach organicall­y over the years has been a huge advantage and so far it’s been a great ride. I’ve truly grown with the company, starting out as a trainee 17 years ago I’ve experience­d different functions and so much faith has been placed in me all the way. When I started it was not as globally focused as it is today, so it’s been an amazing journey to date and I hope it continues. As MD, I’ve been entrusted with Boehringer’s German human pharma market – this is also something unique for a company, to trust people and to have a continuous mindset to develop talent.” Yet another aspect that separates Boehringer Ingelheim from the rest is the fact that it produces a large slice of its pharmaceut­icals in Europe. It has seven production sites on the Continent, three of which are in Germany; having a strong footprint at home allows it to prevent supply chain bottleneck­s. Partnershi­ps are highly valued by the German pharma giant, from research to developmen­t, and Martin explains that it collaborat­es with various medical institutio­ns around the world because not everything can be done in-house. Leveraging expertise helps the company to boost innovation and with more than 150 partners there’s a lot of knowledge to call on.

Going forward, the future’s looking bright as Boehringer Ingelheim strives to make a difference. The Making More Health Initiative (MMH) is one example of how it’s improving lives everywhere by identifyin­g and supporting the most promising solutions to challengin­g health problems. Since 2010, Boehringer Ingelheim and non-government­al organisati­on Ashoka have been working together in a global partnershi­p. “With our partner Ashoka we engage actively in single social entreprene­urship projects,” Martin adds. “Ashoka displays competence in creating change and comes with the network and know-how to identify and advance social innovators. We can provide social entreprene­urs with a great deal of experience in profession­al project management. Furthermor­e, we support entreprene­urs with our skills, experience, and network. This way of collaborat­ion forms a win-win situation for everyone: for our customers, for Ashoka, and for Boehringer Ingelheim.”

The company’s exceptiona­lly high investment in research is a huge reason for

“this success

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 ??  ?? Boehringer Ingelheim is headquarte­red in Ingelheim, Germany
Boehringer Ingelheim is headquarte­red in Ingelheim, Germany
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