Global support fund for local relief increased to $6.4 million (€5.8 million)
Over 100 scientists and 11,000 lab hours committed to COVID-19 research in international consortia, which is expected to expand
10 days paid leave offered to 51,000 employees for volunteering during the pandemic
Over $630,000 (€580,000) in relief funds made available for Making More Health communities and social entrepreneurs in India and Kenya
RIDGEFIELD, CT -- Boehringer Ingelheim has significantly stepped up its support in the fight against COVID-19. A Global Support Program has been set up to bring more financial relief, protective materials and medicine donations to healthcare institutions and communities in need around the world.
“As a pharmaceuticals company, we feel a strong commitment to offer our help to patients, and to those who help them,” said Hubertus von Baumbach, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors. “Many of our employees want to participate in the program: we offer support through donations and paid-leave volunteering, engage in significant scientific projects and bring relief to communities in developing regions in Kenya and India, with whom we have a decade-long relationship. All of this, plus the drive that I see with colleagues to ensure continued production of medicines, is dedicated to the many, many people who suffer from COVID-19. Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones.”
Boehringer Ingelheim initially started with donations totaling over $1.5 million (€1 million) in January for affected regions in China. With the coronavirus spreading to become a global pandemic, efforts to provide relief and scientific support grew strongly these past few weeks. This ultimately resulted in a Global Support Program with four focus areas:
Boehringer Ingelheim has made available $6.4 million (€5.8 million) for financial and in-kind donations for local emergency aid across its markets. This includes, for example, protective masks, disinfectants, inhalers and medicines. The company is also working with local organizations that use financial and medicine donations to organize help for patients in their communities.
2. Research for COVID-19 Therapies
Since January, a growing team of currently more than 100 highly engaged Boehringer Ingelheim scientists from all areas of research and development (R&D) have contributed to projects aimed at finding potential treatment solutions for COVID-19.
“All of us are thinking about how we can find new ways to tackle this virus. This has led to a broad program pursuing many approaches in parallel,” says Dr Cyrille Kuhn, Executive Director Research, who leads Boehringer Ingelheim’s COVID-19 efforts since January.
Moreover, an increasing number of collaboration partners and service providers is bolstering the team’s efforts. Most of the projects are part of larger collaborative efforts with academia, biotech and other pharma companies. Among them is a call by the Innovative Medicines Initiative of the EU (IMI), to which Boehringer Ingelheim is planning to commit in excess of 11,000 work hours in R&D. The company also joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator. In addition, Boehringer Ingelheim supports scientists worldwide with its open innovation portal opnMe.com, which offers 6 anti-viral compounds out of 43 high quality pharmacological tool compounds at no cost for testing of research hypotheses.
As this work evolves, the company will commit further experts from multiple disciplines, as well as increased lab capacity.
In many communities, helping hands from volunteers, for example with a medical or nursing background, are urgently needed. Boehringer Ingelheim offers all of its 51,000 employees the opportunity to take up to 10 days of paid leave to join approved external organizations as a volunteer to bring COVID-19 relief. Employees may choose to volunteer with our various community partners or with other nonprofit organizations in their own local communities.
4. Making More Health relief fund
Over $630,000 (€580,000) in relief funds have been launched to support the global Making More Health (MMH) network of social entrepreneurs in Kenya and India, as well as the communities in which they live and work.
The fund will help social enterprises and their activities to sustain a longer period of low economic activity and will invest in social entrepreneurial ideas that can help reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.
“Especially in times like these, social entrepreneurs around the world are well placed to leverage their proximity to those in need,” said Jean Scheftsik de Szolnok, member of the Board of Managing Directors and one of the founders of the MMH movement. “MMH communities such as self-help groups in India or people suffering from albinism in Kenya, have started to produce soap and at the same time, education programs on hygiene awareness in their neighborhoods.”
Over the years, more than 750 students at the MMH school and some 1,000 families in farmer cooperatives have been trained in hygiene and soap production in Kenya and India.
Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to the global community and to the well-being of people and animals. As a research-driven company, it started its support activities in January and will continue to do what it can to deliver a meaningful contribution in the fight against COVID-19. The company continues to support healthcare systems by reliably supplying drugs and through our research.
More information on the various COVID-19 initiatives under the Global Support Program are available here.
Making new and better medicines for humans and animals is at the heart of what we do. Our mission is to create breakthrough therapies that change lives. Since its founding in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is independent and family-owned. We have the freedom to pursue our long-term vision, looking ahead to identify the health challenges of the future and targeting those areas of need where we can do the most good. As a world-leading, research-driven pharmaceutical company, more than 51,000 employees create value through innovation daily for our three business areas: Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. Our significant investment in R&D drives innovation, enabling the next generation of medicines that save lives and improve quality of life. We realize more scientific opportunities by embracing the power of partnership and diversity of experts across the life-science community. By working together, we accelerate the delivery of the next medical breakthrough that will transform the lives of patients now, and in generations to come. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation and is part of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies. In addition, there are Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health in Duluth, GA. and Boehringer Ingelheim Fremont, Inc. in Fremont, CA. Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving lives and strengthening our communities.
Please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.us/csr to learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. For more information, please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.us, or follow us on Twitter @BoehringerUS. Read more in our annual report: http://annualreport.boehringer-ingelheim.com