Lilly to pump in $700 mln to boost insulin making capacity


Nov 14 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co said it willinvest more than $700 million to boost its insulin manufacturingcapacity in Puerto Rico, France, China and the United States.

The company's traditional stronghold has been its diabetestreatments, but the sales of its drugs have been suffering dueto increasing competition from companies including Denmark'sNovo Nordisk.

Diabetes is increasingly becoming a hard-to-win battleglobally and, according to the International DiabetesFederation, the number of people estimated to be living with thedisease soared to a new record of 382 million this year.

Lilly said on Thursday it will invest $350 million in China,which already has the most diabetics globally and where thenumber is expected to rise to 142.7 million in 2035 from 98.4million.

Lilly also said it plans to invest $120 million in Franceand $245 million in Puerto Rico and Indianapolis, Indiana toexpand its insulin-active-ingredient and delivery devicemanufacturing.

The Indianapolis-based company has been cutting costs assome of its top-selling medicines lost patent protection and aslowing growth in emerging markets hurt results.

Shares of the company closed at $50.55 Wednesday on the NewYork Stock Exchange.

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