Lilly installing new labs, offices, manufacturing lines in $90M project

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Eli Lilly and Co. has been expanding and remodeling its Indianapolis operations at a brisk pace, adding offices, laboratories and manufacturing lines in recent years.

Now the pharmaceutical company is in the middle of another big project: remodeling more than a quarter-million square feet of space at its Lilly Technology Center North campus for labs and offices.

Lilly says it is modifying the structure, known as Building 358, which was previously used for administrative and lab space. The move comes as the company pushes to launch more drugs for diabetes, cancer, pain and other ailments. Lilly is on a mission to launch 20 new medicines by 2023, and has recently reached the halfway point, with its 10th launch earlier this year, for Emgality, a pain treatment.

According to a filing with Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the remodeling project will measure 352,773 square feet, or the equivalent of about six football fields.

Lilly spokesman Mark Taylor, in an email, described the work as a “multi-phase project to modify the building and re-utilize it as lab and office facilities.”

“The remodel of the building is part of a planned upgrade of the facility and is not substantially larger in size from several other recent projects,” he said.

But in terms of square feet, the remodeling project is nearly three times as big as Lilly’s last big splash at the technology center. Earlier this year, Lilly unveiled a new, $75 million laboratory and office project at 1223 West Morris Street, measuring 130,000 square feet.

The building featured an open design, large windows, modular laboratories that can be reconfigured quickly, and artwork from students and faculty from the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI. That building is used for research on small molecules and synthetic peptides, which comprise about half of Lilly’s clinical portfolio.

In addition to the big remodeling project at Building 358, Lilly also has another project under way in the same building “related to the manufacturing of clinical trial materials,” Taylor said. Those materials are small production batches of experimental drugs.

Lilly is spending about $90 million on both projects in Building 358, Taylor said. The building is at 1555 South Harding Street. The project engineer is Jacobs Engineering.

In recent years, the company has also expanded its manufacturing operations in Indianapolis for insulin and other medicines.

Lilly plans to spend about $5.3 billion on global research and development this year, with about $4 billion in U.S. efforts. The company has about 10,300 workers in Indianapolis and 38,587 worldwide.

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