David Ricks, Eli Lilly CEO (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Lil­ly to build man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ty at risk to pre­pare for next-gen oral obe­si­ty drug

Eli Lil­ly is stuck in a hard place — it’s got the cap­i­tal to spend to boost man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ty. But the com­plex­i­ty of build­ing, buy­ing and get­ting fa­cil­i­ties up and run­ning is a slow process that takes time and tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise.

The drug­mak­er has strug­gled to pro­duce enough of its GLP-1/GIP ag­o­nists even as they gen­er­ate bil­lions of dol­lars in sales. Three dos­es of Moun­jaro, the tirzepatide in­jec­tion ap­proved to treat type 2 di­a­betes, are now in short sup­ply. And Zep­bound, the ver­sion of the drug ap­proved to treat pa­tients who are over­weight or obese, gen­er­at­ed $175 mil­lion in sales in less than a month in the US.

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