Writer: Joshua Andino
2 min read January 2023 — Eli Lilly is expanding its RTP campus. Another 100 jobs are coming to the region.
Yesterday evening, the Durham County Board of Commissioners approved $5 million worth of incentives as the pharmaceuticals giant seeks to expand its campus on the northern edge of Research Triangle Park, adding another $450 million investment to its multibillion commitment to North Carolina and RTP, where it expects drug production at its current manufacturing site in the same area to begin later this year.
“When companies already in North Carolina choose to expand here, it reaffirms our status as the best state to do business,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in the official release. “Our strong communities and our dedicated, well-trained workforce will help Lilly continue to succeed.”
The new development will include additional space for parenteral filling, device assembly and packaging capacity to support the increased demand for Lilly’s diabetes-treating incretin products. Lilly’s current facility in RTP is designed for drug formulation fill and finishes of the company’s Trulicity and Tirzepatide products, while a second billion-dollar manufacturing campus in Concord, The Grounds at Concorde, includes 800,000 square feet of space across manufacturing, logistics spaces, a central utilities plant and quality control lab between five buildings.
“Expanding our operations at Research Triangle Park will accelerate the rate at which we can produce medicines that patients rely on to address serious health challenges like diabetes. We’re on track to achieve the goal we shared in November 2022 of doubling incretin capacity by the end of this year, but this investment is key to ensuring even more patients will have access to medicines they need in the future,” said Edgardo Hernandez, executive vice president and president of Lilly Manufacturing Operations in the release.
The state’s workforce experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing, alongside existing partnerships with Wake Tech, Durham Tech and other local colleges and organizations were key considerations for the company.
In a separate interview with Invest:, Dr. Scott Ralls, Wake Technical College president, discussed the opening of the school’s Lilly Center at its RTP Campus and the job growth the company, alongside the wider life sciences sector was driving across the state. “We are seeing this mushrooming of technology jobs in the region, particularly in the life sciences. We introduced a second bio-life science-related degree program. We now have biopharma technology, pharmaceutical manufacturing and production-based cell and gene therapy.”
The site is expected to be fully operational by 2027, with the 100 new jobs created primarily by advanced manufacturing personnel. Average wages will be $56,000, reports the Triangle Business Journal.
“As we move into 2023, Lilly is focused on finding innovative solutions to meet the growing demand for our medicines,” Hernandez said. Since 2014, Lilly has produced 18 new medicines for diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and aims to introduce several new medicines currently in development for 2023, with the facility under development expected to be critical in reaching Lilly’s objectives over the years to come.
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