Eli Lilly & Co. will spend $450 million to expand a manufacturing site in North Carolina as demand grows for its diabetes drug that also has the potential to treat obesity.
With the investment, Lilly is looking to double its capacity to make drugs that mimic incretin, a hormone that gives the sensation of having eaten, by the end of the year, according to a statement January 24 from the Indianapolis-based drugmaker. Those include Lilly’s Mounjaro, which has approval to treat diabetes and is seen as having potential as a weight-loss medication.
Demand is soaring for the drugs that can decrease body weight by as much as 15%, and analysts at Cowen Inc. see the overall obesity market reaching $30 billion by 2030. About three-quarters of U.S. adults are considered overweight or obese, and Mounjaro and Novo Nordisk A/S’s Wegovy have already been hit with shortages as enthusiasm for the drugs grows.
“As Lilly prepares for future growth expected from potential new medicines to treat diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and autoimmune conditions, the company anticipates further expansion of its global manufacturing footprint to ensure sufficient supply of medicine,” the company said.
The shares rose 0.8% at the New York market open, January 24.
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