Lilly acquires Nexus plant to meet GLP-1 demand

Eli Lilly will acquire Nexus Pharmaceuticals’ Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin facility to produce injectable medicines.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

April 24, 2024

2 Min Read

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved facility will further expand the firm’s injectable drug production network globally and support increased demand for the company’s medicines. The facility is expected to begin production by the end of 2025.

“Business development is a priority for Lilly, and we are active in areas that augment innovation and growth for our core business and make life better for people around the world,” a spokesperson for Lilly told BioProcess Insider.

“We do not speculate on our business development strategy or activity beyond formal announcements and respect this transaction's current regulatory review process. We have nothing further to share beyond the press release and will provide additional commentary when appropriate.”

According to the firm, the Wisconsin site does not provide contract manufacturing services, and is completely dedicated to Lilly.

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) drugs have been a major talking point in the industry of late and Danish pharma giant Lilly received FDA authorization for Zepbound under the trade name Mounjaro (both tirzepatide) in November 2023. In 2023, Mounjaro witnessed $5.1 billion in sales, while Zepbound produced $176 million in revenue over six weeks.

Reuters reported FDA records suggest a limited supply of Lilly's GLP-1 drugs due to increase in demand in the second quarter of this year. In a bid to meet the rising demands Lilly has made several investments to bolster its production capacity.

Adding fuel to fire is the acquisition of contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent by Novo Holdings (fellow GLP-1 developer Novo Nordisk’s investment arm) in February 2024. Catalent is in a manufacturing partnership with Lilly to produce its GLP-1 drugs and its acquisition has raised sale concerns for the firm.

A spokesperson for Lilly previously told this publication, “We intend to hold Catalent accountable for their contract with us as we gain more information on this proposed transaction.”

Recently, Lilly reportedly inked deals with CDMOs National Resilience and BSP Pharmaceuticals for the fill/finish of GLP-1 Zepbound and Mounjaro. In 2020, the firm invested $470 million to build an injectable drug manufacturing facility in Durham County, North Carolina. This was followed by an investment of $1 billion in its Concord, North Carolina in January 2022, while also pledging $2.1 billion in May or an expansion in its native Indiana, set to include two active ingredient plants. Additionally, in November 2023, Lilly confirmed an investment of $2.5 billion to construct a drug production plant in Rhineland-Palatinate, close to the French border in Germany to support its diabetes and obesity products.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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