The US drugmaker intends to start initial production from the expanded Research Triangle Park this year, with full operations anticipated to begin in 2027, creating at least 100 new jobs in incretin treatments and medical devices manufacturing

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Lilly’s corporate centre in Indiana. (Credit: Momoneymoproblemz/Wikipedia)

Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) is planning to invest around $450m to expand the manufacturing capacity of its Research Triangle Park facility in North Carolina, US.

The expansion includes additional parenteral filling, device assembly and packaging capacity to support increased demand for the company’s incretin products for diabetes.

The US drugmaker has been struggling to address the high demand for incretin products, which include its diabetes drugs Trulicity and Mounjaro, reported Reuters.

Lilly anticipates the expanded facility to be fully operational in 2027 and is expected to create at least 100 new jobs in incretin treatments and medical device manufacturing.

The company intends to start initial production at Research Triangle Park this year and is preparing for the ongoing inspections by the US FDA.

Lilly Manufacturing Operations executive vice president and president Edgardo Hernandez said: “As we move into 2023, Lilly is focused on finding innovative solutions to meet the growing demand for our medicines.

“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.

“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.”

Lilly said that since 2020, it is committed to investing around $4bn in new manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, including $1.7bn for its Research Triangle Park site.

The US drugmaker launched 18 new medicines for people living with diseases like diabetes and cancer in 2014, with plans to introduce potential new medicines this year.

The current expansion is said to play important role in supporting the supply of existing medications and helping bring the next generation of medicines to patients.

Lilly said that North Carolina’s local workforce has wide-ranging experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

It has partnered with colleges and organisations in North Carolina, to help locals with high school diplomas or community college credits to start a career in pharma manufacturing.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said: “When companies already in North Carolina choose to expand here, it reaffirms our status as the best state to do business. Our strong communities and our dedicated, well-trained workforce will help Lilly continue to succeed.”