Drugmaker Eli Lilly investing US$450mil to expand output


Eli Lilly has been struggling to meet strong demand for its incretin products, which include its blockbuster diabetes drug Trulicity and the recently launched Mounjaro. — Reuters

NEW YORK: Eli Lilly and Co plans to invest an additional US$450mil (RM1.92bil) to expand capacity of a plant in North Carolina, the US drugmaker says, as it races to boost production ahead of a decision on its promising obesity treatment.

The company has been struggling to meet strong demand for its incretin products, which include its blockbuster diabetes drug Trulicity and the recently launched Mounjaro.

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration added both to its list of drugs facing shortages.

Mounjaro, which has the common name tirzepatide, was approved for diabetes in May last year, and the company anticipates an approval for obesity, a multi-billion dollar market, this year.

Trulicity recorded US$5.5bil (RM23.5bil) in sales last year through Sept 30, but Eli Lilly and investors have pinned their hopes on Mounjaro to drive future growth.

Goldman Sachs analyst Chris Shibutani, in a note on Monday, estimated the drug would generate sales US$2.3bil (RM9.8bil) in 2023, fuelled by rapid uptake, and US$27bil (RM115.3bil) in peak sales in 2032.

The expansion of the Research Triangle Park plant includes additional parenteral filling, device assembly and packaging capacity, Eli Lilly said.

It added that this phase is expected to create at least 100 new jobs when fully operational in 2027.

“We’re on track to achieve the goal we shared in November 2022 of doubling incretin capacity by the end of this year, but this investment is key to ensuring even more patients will have access to medicines they need in the future,” Edgardo Hernandez, president of Eli Lilly’s manufacturing operations, said in a statement.

Since 2020, the drugmaker has committed US$1.7bil (RM7.3bil) for development and expansion of the Research Triangle Park site. — Reuters

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EliLilly , capacity , expansion , investment , sales , demand

   

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