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Lilly to spend another $700M in growing market for diabetes products

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Eli Lilly and Co., the biggest U.S. maker of insulin products, will pour another $700 million into manufacturing capacity, more than tripling its investment in the expanding market for diabetes treatments.

The move includes a $45 million investment for Lilly's operations in Indianapolis, on top of a $400 million investment the company announced over the past two years.

Lilly is expanding plants in Puerto Rico, China, France and at its headquarters in Indianapolis. China alone will see a $350 million buildup that will enable Lilly to produce more insulin cartridges for re-usable devices.

“We’re doubling down on insulin, and diabetes,” Enrique Conterno, the head of Lilly’s diabetes business, said. The $700 million brings to $1 billion the amount Lilly is spending on insulin manufacturing this year.

Lilly announced a year ago that it would build a $140 million insulin-cartridge plant in Indianapolis, then decided in April to spend another $180 million to more than double the size of the facility. In addition, Lilly is planning several other projects for its local operations totaling about $80 million, including a $40 million product-inspection center.

The number of diabetics worldwide is projected to grow to 592 million in 2035 from 382 million this year, according to a report released Thursday by the International Diabetes Federation. Those rates are growing rapidly in emerging markets, with 80 percent of diabetics living in low- or middle-income countries, the foundation said.

Lilly is expanding into more cities and regions in China, where international drugmakers dominate the insulin market.

“We have been really investing in that field, and if you look at some of the results we’ve had, we’re gaining market share,” said Jacques Tapiero, Lilly’s president of emerging markets.

Lilly has said that it will have a treatment in every major class of diabetes therapy, from pills to insulin injections. It has had less success developing drugs for other diseases, though, and Conterno said diabetes is competitive.

The setbacks for Lilly’s experimental medicines and the heavy wager on the diabetes market led Jami Rubin, an analyst with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to downgrade the stock to sell from neutral on Nov. 11. An experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease also has a low chance of success, Rubin said.

Ramucirumab, a compound in the final round of testing usually required for approval, was given a priority review designation by U.S. regulators for gastric cancer though it failed to meet trial goals in breast tumors.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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