Eli Lilly pours $500M more into API manufacturing site under construction in Ireland

Eli Lilly is literally doubling down on its biologics manufacturing facility under construction in Ireland.

The company plans to pour more than $500 million in additional funds into its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in Raheen, Limerick County, the country’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) said. The new funding brings the company's total investment in the site to 927 million euros ($1 billion).

Lilly confirmed the dollar figures but did not say how many more people the site will eventually employ. When plans for the site were revealed, in January of last year, the company said it would house 300 engineering, scientific and operations personnel. 

The company said that 1,200 people will now be engaged in construction of the Raheen site. 

Lilly CEO David Ricks attended a ceremony where officials announced the deal, The Irish Times reports. The company offered few details about its planned operations there, saying in a statement the plant would “expand Lilly’s manufacturing network for biologic active ingredients.”

When the company originally announced its plan for the site, it cited "increased demand for existing Lilly products," and added that it would "play a key role" in the manufacture of Lilly's clinical pipeline products "including its promising Alzheimer’s portfolio."

Two months ago, the FDA sent Lilly a complete response letter for its application for approval of Alzheimer's candidate donanemab.

Meanwhile, Lilly has been scaling up efforts to meet increased demand for its diabetes products, including Mounjaro.

The company also is building a $1.7 billion manufacturing site in Concord, North Carolina, which will employ more than 700.

Lilly is among several pharmaceutical companies that have established a manufacturing footprint in business-friendly Ireland. Lilly already employs 2,700 in County Cork at its Kinsale and Little Island sites. Lilly's presence in the country dates to 1978.