The story began in 1885 when Boehringer Ingelheim was founded by Albert Boehringer in Ingelheim am Rhein. The company that began with just 28 employees has since become a global enterprise. Innovation has been the foundation of BI’s success and we continuously strive to develop new methods and medicines.
1885 – foundations are laid
In 1885, Albert Boehringer bought a small tartar factory in the Rhine-Hessian village of Nieder-Ingelheim. He initially manufactured tartaric acid salts used by pharmacies and dyeing works. Demand for the product surged in the first few years as fizzy lemonade and baking powder became popular.
1893 - New process discovered
During experiments for producing citric acid, unwanted fermentations resulted in the formation of lactic acid. Rather than aborting these experiments, Albert Boehringer decided to develop the process with the aim of producing lactic acid on an industrial scale.
1939 - Death of the founder
Albert Boehringer died on 11 March aged 78. Responsibility for company management passed to the second generation, to his sons Albert and Ernst Boehringer as well as his son-in-law Julius Liebrecht.
1948 - Initial expansion abroad
The first foreign subsidiary – Bender & Co. GmbH is founded in Vienna. A year later, BI’s long and successful partnership with the Swiss pharmaceutical company J.R. Geigy AG in Basel is forged.
1950s - New products launched
A string of highly effective products were brought onto the market throughout the 1950s. These formed the basis of Boehringer Ingelheim’s research programme. Meanwhile, existing operations were expanded (in Japan and Italy) while new businesses were founded (in Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Canada).
1960s-80s – Full steam ahead
Boehringer Ingelheim launches a range of important, innovative products onto the market, including the respiratory agents Alupent® (1961), Bisolvon® (1963), Berotec® (1972), Atrovent® (1975) and Berodual® (1980).
1991 – Vision
Boehringer Ingelheim’s corporate vision Value through Innovation is promoted and becomes firmly rooted in company philosophy and practice. The principles of vision and leadership have since been integrated in Lead & Learn, the company’s corporate culture concept.
Today – A global family
Boehringer Ingelheim, with its chairman of the Shareholders’ Committee Christian Boehringer, has become one of the top 20 successful pharmaceutical companies worldwide with 142 affiliates and more than 47,000 employees.