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Lilly plans $715M insulin manufacturing investment

Thu, 11/14/2013 - 8:16am
The Associated Press

Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. plans to spend $715 million to bulk up its manufacturing in a key product line, insulin production.

The Indianapolis company said it will spend $350 million to expand its insulin cartridge manufacturing in China, another $120 million for a similar improvement in France and $245 million to boost manufacturing capacity in Puerto Rico and Indianapolis.

"Insulin is a cornerstone of diabetes treatment and its use will only continue to increase given the rising number of people with diabetes around the world," Lilly Diabetes president Enrique Conterno said in a statement.

Lilly opened a research and development center last year in China, where the disease's prevalence has ballooned in recent years.

People with the diabetes have trouble breaking down carbohydrates, because their bodies have become resistant to the protein insulin, which is critical to digesting sugars. Over time, diabetics are at higher risk for heart attacks, kidney problems, blindness and other serious complications.

Lilly, which makes the antidepressant Cymbalta, counts the insulins Humalog and Humulin among its best-selling drugs.

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