Lilly to pump $1.2bn into its biomanufacturing in 2018

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Eli Lilly has projected an increased spend across its biomanufacturing network next year to support bulk production and fill/finish of monoclonal antibodies.

The US-headquartered Big Biopharma firm declared its 2018 guidance this week with incoming CFO Josh Smiley telling investors capital expenditure is expected to be roughly $1.2bn (€1bn) – a “modest increase over 2017”​ to support large molecule manufacturing.

Lilly spokesperson Tamara Ann Hull confirmed the figure, telling Biopharma-Reporter “the modest increase in capital expenditures from 2017 to 2018 is driven by projects to expand production both bulk and fill/finish capacity of monoclonal antibodies.”

For this year, Lilly estimated​ CAPEX of around $1bn, including $850m of investment in its US network announced by CEO Dave Ricks in March​ as part of a patriotic appeal to Congress to scrap tax paid by American companies on overseas income.

The firm also confirmed plans to build a three-story biomanufacturing facility at its site in Kinsale, Ireland in May​ adding 130 operations and technical support staff by 2020.

Media reports in February suggested the investment – the size of which has not been disclosed – had been put on hold ahead of proposed changes to US tax laws, though a Lilly spokesperson told this publication at the time​ that this was not the case.

The biomanufacturing network was also spared the axe in September​ when the firm unveiled a restructuring plan hoping to save around $500m a year through reduced fixed costs and the loss of 3,500 jobs – around 9% of Lilly’s global workforce.

Hull did not reveal which sites would benefit from the planned expenditure.

According to Lilly’s annual report​, principal active ingredient manufacturing occurs at its own sites in US, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the UK, with formulation, filling, assembling, delivery device manufacturing, and packaging taking place at a number of sites throughout the world. The firm did not differentiate between its small and large molecule network.

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