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Eli Lilly announces $450m investment in US manufacturing site

In December 2022 increased demand resulted in a short supply of two of its diabetes drugs

Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly (Lilly) has unveiled its plans to invest $450m to expand the manufacturing capacity at its US site in North Carolina. The Research Triangle Park facility will support the increased demand for the company’s key diabetes treatments.

The announcement comes after two of Lilly’s diabetes drugs – Mounjaro (tirzepatide) and Trulicity (dulaglutide) – were in short supply in December 2022, which resulted in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adding those drugs to its list of medicines facing shortages.

The expansion, which is set to create at least 100 new jobs, includes additional parenteral filling, device assembly and packaging capacity to support an increased demand for Lilly's incretins – the class of diabetes drugs to which Mounjaro and Trulicity belong.

Edgardo Hernandez, executive vice president and president, Lilly Manufacturing Operations, said: "Expanding our operations at Research Triangle Park will accelerate the rate at which we can produce medicines that patients rely on to address serious health challenges like diabetes.”

Hernandez also outlined that the company was “on track” to achieve its existing goal of doubling incretin capacity by the end of the year, with this latest investment being “key to ensuring even more patients will have access to medicines they need in the future”.

Since 2020, Lilly has committed roughly $4bn to new manufacturing facilities in the US, including $1.7bn for the development and expansion of its site at Research Triangle Park, where initial production is expected to begin this year.

Lilly’s Mounjaro was approved by the FDA in May 2022, which made it the first and only US-approved GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist for adults with type 2 diabetes.

The approval was based on results from the company’s phase 3 SURPASS programme, in which Mounjaro delivered superior and consistent A1C reductions against all of the comparators in a broad range of adults with type 2 diabetes.

“The approval of Mounjaro is an exciting step forward for people living with type 2 diabetes given the results seen in these clinical trials," Juan Pablo Frías, medical director at the National Research Institute and investigator in the SURPASS programme, said at the time of the announcement.

Article by
Emily Kimber

25th January 2023

From: Research

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