Eli Lilly and Co. is going to invest over $700 million to enhance its global insulin manufacturing capacity in Puerto Rico, France, and China, as well as in the home to its headquarters, Indianapolis. This new investment raises the firm’s manufacturing commitment over the past year to more than $1 billion, made in response to increasing demand for insulin due to growing diabetes rates.

Before today’s announcement, Lilly made insulin-related commitments in Indianapolis totaling $320 million to expand insulin-active-ingredient and drug product manufacturing capacity, as well as an additional $80 million in ancillary projects. Together, these announcements bring the firm’s total commitment to more than $1 billion, which will be invested over the next several years. 

The new manufacturing investments, which the company says will support both existing and future insulin-based medicines, are as follows:

  • France: $120 million to enhance insulin cartridge manufacturing capacity
  • Indianapolis and Puerto Rico: $245 million to expand insulin-active-ingredient and delivery device manufacturing capacity
  • China: $350 million to expand insulin cartridge manufacturing capacity

Lilly says its plans to expand insulin production in China is the latest in a series of diabetes-related investments in this part of the world. “Our ongoing investment in China will help Lilly bring medicines to the country with the largest population of people with diabetes—and which is projected to rise to more than 142 million by 2035,” said Jacques Tapiero, svp and president, Lilly Emerging Markets, in a statement.

The firm says it currently has 14 new molecular entities in clinical development for the treatment of diabetes and related complications including three under regulatory review and another in Phase III. Several of Lilly’s candidates made GEN’s recent list of new diabetes drugs moving through the pipeline including dulaglutide (LY2189265) and LY2605541 (basal insulin peglispro).

Lilly introduced the first commercially available insulin product in 1923.

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