People, Pharma, R&D

Eli Lilly unveils an $850M makeover as Trump pounds the table for new US jobs, manufacturing

David Ricks, Lilly

Eli Lilly has a present for President Trump. At a time Trump has been pounding on big companies in general and Big Pharma in specific for more US jobs and development, Eli Lilly is launching an $850 million renovation plan for its US facilities.

The Indianapolis-based Lilly unveiled a blueprint to invest in its research labs, manufacturing ops and its headquarters in Indiana.

“Our future at Lilly is bright, as we’re on a path to launch 20 new products in a 10-year time frame,” Lilly CEO Dave Ricks said. “As we have for our entire 140-year history, we continue to see Indiana and the United States as attractive places to research and make the medicines that we sell around the world.”

That message will sell well in Washington, DC.

The new projects include an $85 million expansion of its Trulicity (dulaglutide) device assembly operations in the US, which should also help appease Trump, who’s been particularly focused on bringing manufacturing jobs “back” to the US. And Ricks hit hard on the new construction jobs that would be created in 2017 as they pushed ahead with the capital project.

Ricks may have found himself out of step with the tenor and times in Washington DC earlier this year, as the company focused on trimming its staff. In early February, just weeks after unveiling plans to lay off 485 staffers that had been involved in the failed solanezumab program, the company spread word that it was looking for 200 researchers to take a “voluntary exit.”

While Lilly spends a relatively large portion of its revenue on R&D, former CEO John Lechleiter always made a point of keeping a careful handle on spending overall. And that included hiring.

At the end of 2015, Eli Lilly employed 41,275 people, including approximately 23,425 employees outside the US. But it’s also been shipping jobs overseas. Five years earlier Lilly employed 40,360 people, including approximately 20,300 employees outside the United States.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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