Lilly preserves biomanfacturing network amid $500m cost-saving restructure

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/BrianAJackson
Image: iStock/BrianAJackson

Related tags Boehringer ingelheim

Eli Lilly has announced a restructuring plan which will cut around 3,500 jobs but biomanufacturing will remain largely unaffected.

The restructuring plan announced yesterday hopes to save Lilly around $500m (€415m) a year by reducing fixed costs, and will affect a number of its global facilities along with 3,500 jobs – around 9% of its global workforce.

According to Lilly spokeswoman Lauren Zierke, the sites earmarked for closure will be mostly R&D while manufacturing – especially in more ‘innovative’ areas such as biologics – mostly escapes the cuts.

“The Lilly Bridgewater site, which consists primarily of clinical and product development and biometrics roles,”​ will close, she told us, as will “the Lilly China Research and Development Center (LCRDC), which focuses primarily on preclinical diabetes research and some oncology research.”

An animal vaccines facility in Larchwood, Iowa is also earmarked for closure with operations set to move to the nearby Ft. Dodge vaccine site – bought from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica in 2016​ – by the end of 2019.

Actions announced [yesterday] are entirely consistent with our previous actions to improve productivity and add jobs in key priority areas. Like any innovation company, we must regularly reduce in some areas to invest in other priorities.”

Recent investments made in Lilly’s biomanufacturing network will continue to advance, including a planned three-story facility​ at its site in Kinsale, Ireland housing an additional production line which is expected to require up to 130 additional staff by 2020.

The expansion had been subject to media rumours saying it had been placed on hold ahead of proposed changes to US tax laws which would have made pharmaceutical imports more expensive, but the project got the go-ahead in June.

Lilly also dedicated a $140m insulin cartridge production facility at its site in Indianapolis, Indiana in March​, and pledged it would be spending a further $710m across its US network this year.

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