Lilly's plans for $2.5 billion site in Germany to expand injectable manufacturing capacity

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

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Eli Lilly has invested in its manufacturing capacity once more and has announced plans to build a $2.5 billion high-tech manufacturing site in Germany.

The plans for the new facility were announced last month (November 17) by the company that says it will further expand its global parenteral (injectable) product and device manufacturing network.

The company says it will also support an increased demand for Lilly's medicines, including its diabetes and obesity portfolio. It has launched 21 treatments since 2014 and plans to launch several more in the coming years.

“Every investment into our manufacturing capacity around the world is a renewed commitment to patients today – and to those who may need our medicines tomorrow,” said Edgardo Hernandez, executive vice president and president, Lilly manufacturing operations.

“This state-of-the-art parenteral site with the latest technology will enable us to continue to deliver medicines with safety first and quality always around the world.” 

Including this new manufacturing facility, Lilly will operate a total of six sites in Europe, including one in nearby Fegersheim, in France.

The company says its ongoing investments in Europe will create operational synergies, strengthen university and government relationships, support the early-stage life science ecosystem, and diversify the growing Lilly presence in Europe.

With its extensive experience across the pharmaceutical industry, Lilly says Germany's workforce will play a vital role in bolstering Lilly's incretin supply when the new site is operational beginning in 2027. 

There is good news for the employment market too with this new site set to take on up to 1,000 highly skilled workers that will include engineers, operators, and scientists, who will work with state-of-the-art technology, including automation and high-speed manufacturing lines, to produce life-changing medicines.

In addition, an estimated 1,900 jobs will be created during construction, which is scheduled to begin in 2024. Lilly's investment in Alzey is contingent upon the finalization of government permitting and local approvals.

“The decision to locate here is good news for Germany as a business location,” said Robert Habeck, vice chancellor and federal minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

“It creates new and future-oriented jobs, shows the confidence of companies in the attractiveness of Germany as a pharmaceutical and industrial location and helps to improve healthcare for our citizens. The new location will make an important contribution to industrial value creation in Germany with high-tech production facilities and research and development.”

Lilly has announced investments of more than $11 billion in its global manufacturing footprint in the past three years and says this helps ensure the ‘safe and reliable supply of Lilly's innovative medicines’. 

The company plans to continue to invest in the expansion of its global manufacturing to address the growth expected from potential new medicines to treat diabetes and obesity, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and autoimmune conditions.

“As we look to usher in the next generation of medicines, we're looking for people and partners who share our passion for improving health outcomes," said Ilya Yuffa, executive vice president and president, Lilly International.

“With this new investment, we hope to spark a new era of collaboration and innovation in Germany and the European Union defined by our shared purpose to find lasting solutions for patients.”

The company is also announcing an investment of up to $100 million to dramatically increase its footprint in Germany's early-stage biotech ecosystem. These investments will focus on biotech and the life sciences venture capital funds – expanding Lilly's incubator and accelerator engagements, thereby strengthening Lilly's ties and activities with world-renowned academic and innovation partners.

With these investments, Lilly says it will pursue strategic partnerships and collaborations utilizing a variety of models that meet a range of business needs, including capital and equity investments; world-class lab space; and outstanding research and development capabilities and expertise to help accelerate innovative medicines that meet the needs of people globally.

“This investment strengthens the Federal Government in its efforts to make Germany more attractive again as a pharmaceutical location,” added Prof. Dr. Karl Lauterbach, federal minister of health.

“It shows good innovative products can be reliably developed and produced in Germany. However, we will continue to improve the framework conditions for research and production. This will ensure that patients have rapid access to new treatment options and make us more independent from fragile supply chains. Europe needs a strong pharmaceutical industry and research – not least for good and secure healthcare. Germany wants to provide new stimuli here.”

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