Eli Lilly said to plan 2 billion euro German plant

Eli Lilly plans to build a production plant in western Germany, with one putting the investment at 2 billion euros ($2.17 billion).

Two sources state that more than 1,000 jobs will be created whilst including an expected boost to sub-contractors and suppliers in the region. Eli Lilly is yet to comment on the plans however news conferences have been scheduled. The project will be fully funded by the medicines giant, which has seen surging demand for its diabetes drug Mounjaro, people familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Wednesday.

One of the sources said that the new site would make diabetes drugs with the potential use to treat obesity. No further details were available on what the plant would produce.The Mounjaro injection has been used off-label for weight loss and last week it was cleared for that additional use in the United States under the new brand Zepbound. Lilly’s other diabetes drugs include Trulicity.The town of Alzey, in the Rheinhessen area of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, is within less than an hour’s drive of the headquarters of drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim and COVID vaccine pioneer BioNTech and of chemicals giant BASF.

Eli Lilly’s plans for a plant look to be a win for the German government, keen to show that Europe’s biggest economy remains an attractive manufacturing location despite soaring energy prices caused by the loss of Russian gas following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“This is about a four-digit number of new employees,” said one source, adding this included a positive knock-on effect in related businesses such as packaging. The U.S. company, which has been present in Germany since 1960, already has 1,000 employees in the country in areas such as development, distribution and marketing. The investment comes even as major pharma companies have voiced strong opposition to plans by the European Union to shorten the standard period of protections companies get before generics can enter the market from 10 to eight years.

Major production sites that Lilly runs outside of its U.S. home market are in Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and China, according to its 2022 annual report. The German project would add to the more than $8 billion the company has currently earmarked for ongoing expansion investments in Indiana, North Carolina, and Limerick, Ireland over the next several years. Eli Lilly said it would unveil “far-reaching investment plans” at Friday’s news conference, which will be attended by Germany’s economy and health ministers.

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