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GEN News Highlights : Feb 27, 2012

Lilly Plans €330M Expansion of Manufacturing Site in Kinsale, Ireland

Facility is expected to generate 200 jobs once completed.

Eli Lilly & Co. joined with Irish officials this morning in announcing plans to expand its Kinsale campus with a new €330 million (about $442 million) manufacturing plant. The 240,000 square foot plant would be the company's second to be built at Kinsale, in Ireland’s County Cork within the past five years. A €300 million (roughly $402 million) biopharmaceutical manufacturing and new product commercialization facility finished construction and came online in 2010.

Lilly and officials said the new plant would create 300 construction jobs followed by “up to 200 permanent jobs” after the newest plant is completed. Irish officials from Richard Bruton TD, minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, said the newly announced plant marked a success for Ireland’s Action Plan for Jobs, which calls for expansion of the nation’s high-end manufacturing and health/life sciences sectors as well as a deepening presence and greater economic impact for multinational companies in Ireland.

To that end, on February 9, Abbott announced plans for an €85 million ($114 million) expansion of its Sligo manufacturing site, slated for completion in 2014, with 175 new jobs to add to its nearly 4,000-person workforce in Ireland, spread among  13 manufacturing, commercial, and shared services sites across the country. Lilly by comparison employs some 700 people in Ireland at four sites: Kinsale, Cork City, Sligo, and Dublin. The facilities are involved in operations that include bulk pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing, animal vaccines, financial shared services, marketing, and sales.

Lilly has operated at Kinsale since 1981 and has a bulk manufacturing site focused on producing APIs for drugs that include Alimta®, Evista®, Strattera®, and Zyprexa®. Alimta was originally approved for malignant pleural mesothelioma, and more recently for non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer. Evista is targeted to postmenopausal women with indications for prevention or treatment of osteoporosis and for reduction in risk of invasive breast cancer with osteoporosis or high risk for invasive breast cancer. Strattera treats ADHD in children, adolescents, and adults; while Zyprexa treats schizophrenia and acute bipolar mania.

According to figures Eli Lilly released January 31 with its results for Q4 and full-year 2011, Zyprexa sales tumbled 8% last year, to $4.622 billion, paced by a 44% plunge in Q4 ’11 to $749.6 million, all reflecting the loss of its patent protection in the U.S. and most major markets outside of Japan. But while U.S. sales dropped 13%, overseas sales only dipped 3%, partially offset by foreign exchange rates and continued growing demand in Japan, where the drug racked up $540 million, accounting for about 12% of total sales.

On the bright side for Lilly, sales of the other three drugs whose APIs are produced at Kinsale rose last year: Evista increased 4% to $1.066.9 billion, while Strattera climbed 8% to $620.1 million, and Alimta jumped 11% to $2.461 billion.

More relevant to the Irish plant, overseas sales of those three drugs outpaced the U.S. and global averages. Outside the U.S., Alimta sales leaped 17% on growing demand to $1.466 billion, accounting for about 60% of total sales. Evista sales grew 5% to $359.4 million, or more than one-third of the drug’s total sales, while Strattera sales skyrocketed 22% to $227.9 million, a 37% slice of total sales.

Lilly didn’t spell out in its announcement what APIs would be made at the new plant, which the company described as a commercialization and manufacturing facility. But in a press release by Lilly and the economic development agency IDA Ireland, the plant was described as one that “will further enhance the company’s ability to bring treatments for illnesses such as cancer and diabetes to patients worldwide.”

Four of Lilly’s major marketed products have indications for cancer. In addition to Alimta and Evista, they include Erbitux®, whose indications include later-stage EGFR-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer, locally or regionally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer, and later-stage recurrent or metastatic squamous cell head and neck cancer. Anothetr Lilly cancer drug, Gemzar®, is approved for first-line NSCLC as well as pancreatic cancer, metastatic breast cancer, recurrent ovarian cancer, biliary tract cancer in Japan, and bladder cancer outside the U.S.

Another five Lilly drugs have indications against diabetes: Humulin® and Humalog® for type 1 and type 2; and three type 2 treatments produced under various collaborations: Byetta® (with Amylin Pharmaceuticals), Tradjenta® (with Boehringer Ingelheim), and Bydureon® (with Amylin and Alkermes).