IBJNews

Seeking growth, Lilly dumps Singapore for China

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Singapore's out and China's in for Eli Lilly and Co.'s effort to grow sales internationally.

After recently deciding to close a research center in Singapore, the Indianapolis-based drugmaker has decided to open a diabetes research center in China in the second half of 2011, further ramping up its presence in what is now the world’s second-largest economy.

Lilly said last month it would close its 130-person Singapore center by year-end in order to cut costs.

But China’s growth is irresistible for Lilly—especially the growth in diabetes. The chronic disease affects roughly 90 million Chinese people—a number expected to grow rapidly as China’s population ages and becomes wealthier.

Lilly currently makes insulins and other medicines to help diabetics control their blood-sugar levels. But the basis of diabetes among Asian populations is different than among European populations, forcing Lilly to look for new therapies better suited to the Chinese.

Directing the center’s team of 100 scientists and support staff will be Bei Betty Zhang, a native of Shanghai and a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, who serves as vice president of research for Lilly Research Laboratories in China.

Since the late 1990s, Lilly has invested nearly $300 million in China, including the launch of its Lilly Asian Ventures fund, which has invested $40 million into six biopharmaceutical companies in China.

Lilly also has a long-standing relationship with ShangPharma, which devotes 200 research scientists to working on Lilly projects, according to the China Bio Today website.

Lilly itself employs 2,800 people in China—more than double last year's figure.

Lilly has focused its efforts in emerging markets on six key countries: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and Turkey. The company doesn’t disclose total sales in those markets, but it says it has doubled revenue in the past five years and expects to double it again by the end of 2014.

China represents about 40 percent of that growth potential, according to an August presentation by Jacques Tapiero, president of Lilly’s emerging-markets business unit.

“Needless to say that we must win in China,” Tapiero said. In October, Lilly officials touted their international growth, particularly in China and Japan, as a trend that will help offset looming revenue loss from its drugs losing patent protection in the United States and Europe over the next three years.

When Lilly opened its Singapore center in 2002, it was still wary of intellectual-property law in China. But in the past five years, the company has aggressively expanded in China.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • more outsourcing
    Now I know why the position I applied for at Eli Lilly was cancelled. John Lechleiter, Eli Lilly CEO, just announced on cNBC that they get to work with some of the most "talented" (read inexpensive) researchers in the world. Can't say that I blame them entirely considering the benefits of going overseas and an uncertain economic environment in the U.S.A. I'm still looking for a research position after two years of the biotech company I worked for closed.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.

ADVERTISEMENT