About us

Boehringer Ingelheim Oncology

Since our foundation, Boehringer Ingelheim has always been a family-owned, research-driven company. In 2012, we invested €3.3 billion in research and development – representing almost a quarter of our net sales in our largest business segment, Prescription Medicines. This demonstrates a clear commitment to the health of many generations to come.

We believe in evidence-based, scientific progress. Working in close collaboration with the international scientific community and some of the world’s leading cancer centres, we have embarked on a major research programme to develop innovative cancer medicines. Our extensive oncology clinical trial programme involves more than 800 study centres in 47 countries, working to ensure that studies with our compounds provide the data that will form a solid basis for your informed decision.


Cancer is a global health issue. In 2012, an estimated 14.1 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed worldwide, a total of 32.6 million people were living with cancer (within 5 years of initial diagnosis) and 8.2 million died from their disease.1 The most common newly diagnosed cancer types were lung (12.9%), breast (11.9%) and colorectal (9.7%).1 The deadliest cancer type was lung cancer, accounting for nearly 2 in 10 cancer deaths.1

Despite the increasing incidence of cancer, recent advances in treatment as well as earlier diagnosis have improved overall survival rates of patients across many tumour types.2

We have a dedicated cancer research centre in Vienna, where our scientists are focussed on the discovery and development of new treatments to combat cancer. Our teams work with many of the leading experts in cancer research and medicine around the world.

We believe in supporting basic research in independent institutes. Currently we are a major sponsor of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, which serves as a bridge between academia and industry. In addition, the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation for Basic Research in Medicine partners with researchers and sponsors projects, with the aim of experimentally explaining the basic phenomena of human life.

Our approved products

Our aim is to provide patients and oncologists with either first-in-class new treatment options or to exceed the therapeutic outcomes of existing treatments in terms of efficacy and tolerability. Focusing our research on the development of molecular targeted agents, immunotherapy and biologics, we believe in targeting those diseases with most medical need, including lung cancer, head and neck cancer and various haematological cancers.

The signal transduction inhibitor afatinib* is approved in the EU, Taiwan and Mexico (under the brand name GIOTRIF®) and in the US (under the brand name GILOTRIF®) for the treatment of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor-naive patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with activating EGFR mutation(s).

The triple angiokinase inhibitor nintedanib** in combination with docetaxel is approved in the EU (under the brand name VARGATEF®) for use in patients with locally advanced, metastatic or locally recurrent NSCLC of adenocarcinoma tumour histology after first-line chemotherapy. Nintedanib** is also approved in the EU, the US and Canada (under the brand name OFEV®) for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a debilitating and fatal lung disease.

Our pipeline

Our pipeline progress is at the heart of what we do. We have a range of novel targeted therapies in development in the areas of angiogenesis inhibition, signal transduction and cell-cycle inhibition. Within each of these three areas, we have a substantial pipeline of molecules that we are investigating in a number of solid tumours and haematological cancers. These include clinical studies of afatinib* and nintedanib** in subtypes of NSCLC beyond their current approvals, as well as promising new indications such as head and neck cancer and colorectal cancer. We are also investigating several other novel targets that are involved in tumour growth and metastasis. Through our research programme, we are contributing to the application of emerging science in personalising cancer medicine.

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 23/01/15.
  2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2015, Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2015.