Eli Lilly invests to increase the offering of Mounjaro and Zepbound

An injection pen containing Eli Lilly's weight-loss drug Zepbound goes on display in New York City on December 11, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Eli Lilly said Friday it is investing another $5.3 billion in a factory in Lebanon, Indiana, to boost supply of the highly popular weight-loss drug Zepbound, the diabetes treatment Mounjaro and other medications.

The demand for these treatments has far exceeded the supply in the past year shortages in the US, forcing the pharmaceutical giant to invest heavily to scale up its production.

This new commitment brings Eli Lilly's total investment in the site to $9 billion. That makes it Eli Lilly's largest manufacturing investment in its nearly 150-year history, company CEO David Ricks said in a statement.

Eli Lilly expects the Lebanon site to start making medicines by the end of 2026 and scale up operations through 2028. announced its plans to build new locations in Indiana in 2022.

The plant will specifically increase Eli Lilly's capacity to produce the active ingredient in Zepbound and Mounjaro, called tirzepatide. The company calls these treatments incretin medications, which mimic certain intestinal hormones to suppress a person's appetite and regulate blood sugar levels.

“This multi-site campus will create our newest medicines, including Zepbound and Mounjaro, support pipeline growth and leverage the latest technology and automation for maximum efficiency, safety and quality control,” Ricks said in a statement.

Eli Lilly said 900 employees, including engineers, scientists, operations staff and laboratory technicians, will staff the site when it is fully operational.

The company has spent more than $18 billion since 2020 building, expanding and purchasing factories in the US and Europe.

Eli Lilly has several manufacturing sites that are “ramping up or under construction,” Chief Financial Officer Anat Ashkenazi told investors on an earnings call last month. That includes the plant in Lebanon and another location in Indiana, two locations in North Carolina, one in Ireland, one in Germany and a seventh location that the company recently acquired from Nexus Pharmaceuticals.

Investors cheered Eli Lilly after the company raised its full-year revenue outlook by $2 billion, partly on confidence in increased production of Zepbound, Mounjaro and other incretin drugs for the remainder of the year.

“Now that we're four months into the year, we have more insight into that, into these capacity nodes, and we feel more confident,” Ashkenazi said on the call.

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