Lilly to build $470M manufacturing plant in North Carolina

Eli Lilly headquarters

Eli Lilly and Co. announced Tuesday it will build a $470 million pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Durham, North Carolina, after also considering a location in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker said the project will create more than 460 jobs, including scientists, engineers and quality professionals. The average salary will be more than $72,000.

The plant will product injectible products and delivery devices for two diabetes treatments, Trulicity and Tirzepatide.

Lilly said it conducted a nationwide evaluation for a new site that was narrowed to three states, based on a variety of factors. The other sites were in Indianapolis and Pennsylvania.

North Carolina said it will give Lilly up to $8.7 million in conditional incentives over 12 years, depending on the number of jobs actually created.

“The Durham location met Lilly’s criteria for cost of operations, quality of life, the ability to attract and retain a skilled work force, and many other decision factors,” the company said in an email to IBJ. “Importantly, this new facility will allow Lilly to geographically diversify our manufacturing operations within the United States.”

“Life science companies like Lilly continue to choose North Carolina,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a media statement. “Our exceptional workforce draws global companies as we continue to grow North Carolina into a worldwide hub for the biotechnology industry.”

It’s the latest manufacturing investment announced by Lilly in recent months. In November, the company said it would spend $400 million to expand manufacturing operations at its Lilly Technology Center in Indianapolis and add 100 jobs here.

Lilly CEO David Ricks said the company needs more manufacturing capacity to keep up with demand for current medicines, as well as new drugs expected to emerge from its pharmaceutical pipeline. Lilly currently has seven U.S. manufacturing sites, located in Indiana, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

“This next-generation manufacturing facility will allow us to expand our capacity to make the Lilly medicines that are helping people with serious illnesses today, and help us prepare for new medicines coming from our robust pipeline in the future,” Ricks said.

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21 thoughts on “Lilly to build $470M manufacturing plant in North Carolina

    1. Do you blame this same “USELESS do-nothing mayor doofus” for the $400 million project Lilly announced in November that will occur here in Indy? And no I am not a Democrat.

    1. Correct. If I’m not mistaken, Lilly hasn’t expanded their research here at all.
      That’s a very bad sign as well.

    1. This is horrible news.
      Lilly is saying our quality of life is not worth of them expanding here.
      Huge problem with Anthem not wanting to expand here when they decided to build
      a twenty some story tower in Atlanta hiring well over a thousand em0loyees.

      Indianapolis had better get serious about two things that are sorely lacking.
      1) Bringing economic development & jobs here
      We need an AGRESSIVE strategy. We need HUNTERS!.
      2) we need an aggressive plan to develop quality of life issues here.
      Since we don’t have mountains, beaches, oceans, or even a major river, we to
      Invest heavily in ARTS! Yes the ARTS!

      If losing the Anthem expansion and this latest Lilly expansion doesn’t sound the alarm
      bells, then we are in real danger of losing these two major headquarters.

  1. Tom W. is right. Quality of life metrics are very high there. It comes down to numbers (including tax breaks, which we all pay for). It would be great to see more jobs in Indy, but I’m not sure 460 jobs is worth almost $10 million in taxpayer money. IN might have made the right choice here.

    1. Are you kidding?? $ 10 million dollars is a bargain for 460 jobs. Especially in
      this competitive environment and a state of the art $ 470 million dollar project.

      Truth is Indianapolis has not had a major economic investment come here for several years now. We are in real danger of losing any type of credibility or impact as a player
      for future economic development.
      We are constantly being by bypassed.

  2. This is horrible news.
    Lilly is saying our quality of life is not worth of them expanding here.
    Huge problem with Anthem not wanting to expand here when they decided to build
    a twenty some story tower in Atlanta hiring well over a thousand em0loyees.

    Indianapolis had better get serious about two things that are sorely lacking.
    1) Bringing economic development & jobs here
    We need an AGRESSIVE strategy. We need HUNTERS!.
    2) we need an aggressive plan to develop quality of life issues here.
    Since we don’t have mountains, beaches, oceans, or even a major river, we to
    Invest heavily in ARTS! Yes the ARTS!

    If losing the Anthem expansion and this latest Lilly expansion doesn’t sound the alarm
    bells, then we are in real danger of losing these two major headquarters.

    1. It is not the end of the world. It makes sense for a huge company like Lilly to want to diversify its assets across geographic regions. Also, Indianapolis is not, and has never been, anywhere near the level of the Research Triangle. And, it would take a lot more than a few million here and there or some bioscience initiative to even begin to move the city toward the same tier. And, Lilly is not going to relocate their entire headquarters–they have billions and billions of dollars invested in the city and also legal obligations for the many tax breaks they have received (i.e. claw-back provisions). Add on the the huge costs of moving employees and opening new facilities, and it really would not make sense for them to relocate.

      Indianapolis is constantly throwing money and tax breaks at companies when it needs to get back to basics. A high quality of life and a deep talent pool are not things you develop in a few years–its takes years and years of concerted effort. And, in the meantime, you simply have to accept that for some economic development projects, you are going to be beat out by better locations.

  3. “Truth is Indianapolis has not had a major economic investment come here for several years now.” Absolutely correct. We’ve been getting crushed by Raleigh, Austin, Nashville for several years now. All on the watch of Mayor Doofus Hogwash. He’s a TERRIBLE mayor. He wasn’t even sure he wanted the job, before he ran last Nov. Indy had a lot of momentum going under the last multiple mayors. It’s going to be an awful 4 more years under him. You watch, the Signia hotel project is going to be either cancelled or significantly reduced…

    1. “Attitude reflects leadership” – Julius from “Remember the Titans”…….last I knew, a mayor was a leader……MG is not Chicken Little, just pointing out the obvious.

    2. Jackie, instead of quoting Hollywood schlock, perhaps you would do better to stick to the facts. Somewhere lost in all this phony (and I DO mean phony) handwringing is the fact that Lilly just announced in November that it will invest $400 MILLION in Indianapolis at its technology manufacturing facility. Guess who was the Mayor at the time of that announcement? Is that the leadership you are referring to? It seems someone needs to point out the obvious to you.

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