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Lilly and Rexam expanding facilities for insulin pens

By Nick Taylor , 19-Jun-2008

Eli Lilly and Rexam are both investing in their French manufacturing facilities in preparation for the production of an insulin pen they are developing.

Rexam is due to commence with a 3,800 sq m expansion of its facility in La Verpillière, with Lilly's Fegersheim site undergoing a €35m overhaul to update its production equipment. This work is being done to obtain the production capacity needed to satisfy the global insulin pen market, which is due to reach $22bn by 2012 according to The Global Diabetes Market. Rexam's expansion will be solely used for the manufacture of the insulin pen components that the company is responsible for. To achieve this the facility will be equipped with injection presses, marking machines, an assembly line with ultrasound welding, sticking and packaging technology. To monitor this process a camera viewing system is also being installed, which will enable each phase of production to be controlled. Fifty jobs will be created by the expansion, which is due to be completed in 2009.

Lilly's Fegersheim plant is to have 600 sq m revamped with new production methods to meet global demands. This is a further improvement to Lilly's biggest production site, which received investments of €640m from 1992 to 2009. Through these investments the work force on site tripled between 1993 and 2004. Fegersheim has grown to specialise in the injectables market, with production capacity for insulin, parathyroid hormone and growth hormones. The insulin pen itself will be constructed at the Fegersheim site. The pen is composed of over a dozen plastic parts and a spring, which are all manufactured at Rexam's facility. These parts can be divided down into two sub-sets, those responsible for dosage selection and another which forms the protective cap. All these plastic parts are constructed around the glass insulin containing cartridge, which is produced at Lilly's Fegersheim site.

The infrastructure investments appear to be justified in light of the predicted growth in the global diabetes market, with emerging markets becoming increasingly important.

In particular India and China are predicted to account for one-third of the global market by 2025, according to Insulin Delivery Systems Market Analysis (2007-2010).

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