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Lilly to invest additional $5.3B in Lebanon research and innovation district

Lilly to invest additional $5.3B in Lebanon research and innovation district

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Lilly announced Friday that it plans to more than double its investment at a research facility in Boone County.

Lilly Chair and CEO David Ricks shared the news alongside Gov. Eric Holcomb during the Indiana Global Economic Summit in downtown Indianapolis.

The new $5.3 billion expansion brings Lilly’s total investment at the LEAP Research and Innovation District in Lebanon to $9 billion.

“We’re basically adding to the scope of the site we were originally announced by almost a factor of three,” Ricks said.

He says the additional investment will add to the company’s capacity to manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients for its latest Type 2 diabetes and obesity drugs.

The expansion will allow the company to make even more of its new weight-loss drugs, which was one of the reasons for the massive $5 billion addition to the original project. “We can’t meet the demand that’s there,” Ricks said.

Ricks says Lilly is also trying to prevent people from using knock-off versions of their weight-loss drugs, Mounjaro and Zepbound, that contain tirzepatide. “People buying illicit material, mostly from Asian labs, that are imported, that we don’t even know is tirzepatide. That’s quite a dangerous thing to do. We don’t encourage it, so what we need to do is step up and make more.”

In May 2022, Lilly first announced its plans to invest $2.1 billion and create up to 500 new jobs in Lebanon. At the Lebanon groundbreaking in April 2023, Lilly announced an additional $1.6 billion investment and 200 new jobs at the Boone County site.

At the Lebanon site, Lilly also plans to create another 200 full-time jobs for highly skilled workers, such as scientists, engineers, lab technicians, and operating personnel. The plans are to bring the company’s total planned new jobs to 900. Ricks said, “These are high-paying jobs in engineering, science, and working the shop floor to make the medicines themselves.”

The goal is to have as many of those jobs as possible to be filled by Hoosier natives, Ricks said.. “We’re encouraged we can staff the site with high quality workers and that we’ll meet our needs. In fact, Purdue is developing a pharmaceutical engineering program, which is 30 miles away and we’ll have a close partnership on that.”

The Republican governor took the added investment as another big win for the state. “What’s so gratifying to me is where this is going to lead to. The opportunities for Hoosiers and of course what the medication is going to do for someone’s quality of life.”