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Eli Lilly and Company is planning to build a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Durham County, North Carolina, US.
At the facility, injectable products and delivery devices, such as insulin pens for diabetes care, will be manufactured.
The company announced the development of the facility in January 2020, with an estimated investment of $474m.
The plant is expected to generate 462 jobs over five years. Eli Lilly will hire candidates in roles such as scientists, manufacturing operations, quality professionals and engineers. Initial recruitment will take place in 2020, while the majority of the hiring is anticipated around 2023.
Average annual wage will be approximately $73,000, while the starting wages for entry-level jobs will be around $49,000.
Location of the new facility
Eli Lilly’s new pharmaceutical manufacturing facility will be on Parmer campus at the Research Triangle Park in Durham, which lies across the TW Alexander Drive near the North Carolina Biotechnology Centre.
Research Triangle Park is a research and innovation centre managed by a not-for-profit organisation known as the Research Triangle Foundation. It is equidistant from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.
Spanning 7,000 acres, it is the largest research park in the US, housing government organisations, academic institutes, non-profit organisations, start-ups and science and technology companies. Eli Lilly cited the workforce capabilities of North Carolina as the main reason for selecting the state over other states.
Eli Lilly’s manufacturing facility features
The facility, developed as an integrated life science manufacturing factory, will initially focus on manufacturing two diabetes drugs, Trulicity™ (dulaglutide) and tirzepatide.
Trulicity was approved by the UD Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, while tirzepatide is a drug candidate being developed for diabetes patients with increased cardiovascular risk.
The next-generation facility will encompass new-age technologies such as robotics, automation, and data analytics for managing tasks, including drug formulation. Furthermore, it will cover filling and packaging tasks related to commercial and late-stage development drug candidates.
Financing and incentives
The company secured a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) from North Carolina for the development of the facility. Approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee in January 2020, the 12-year grant will see the company receive a reimbursement of up to $8.7m, subject to the fulfilment of the agreed investment and job creation targets.
Eli Lilly’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility is expected to add $4.1bn to the state’s economy during the grant period.
Under the JDIG agreement, approximately $2.8m would be moved into the state’s Industrial Development Fund-Utility Account to support rural communities in upgrading infrastructure.
Eli Lilly is also expecting to receive local incentives up to $2.55m from Durham County. North Carolina Community Colleges will contribute $1.15m to provide personalised training support.
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Duke Energy, NC General Assembly and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce are also supporting the project.
Marketing commentary on Eli Lilly
Eli Lilly is a US-based pharmaceutical company, founded in 1876. The company focuses on the treatment of chronic illnesses such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
It bought Sphinx Pharmaceuticals, a spin-out of Duke University biochemistry lab, for roughly $76m in 1994.
Eli Lilly established a drug research centre in the Research Triangle Park in the 1990s. The facility generated more than 100 jobs but closed in 2005.
The company has manufacturing facilities, as well as research and development (R&D) amenities, in eight countries and markets its products in 120 countries.
Eli Lilly takes nearly ten years to move a drug from the discovery stage to the patients with an approximate cost of $2.6bn from discovery to development.
In January 2020, the FDA approved the company’s triple-combination diabetes drug, Trijardy™ XR, for the type 2 diabetes treatment.
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