Lilly to close one of three of its manufacturing operations in Puerto Rico

Will cease manufacturing at Guayama while investment continues at two plants in Carolina

Eli Lilly and Company plans to cease production at and sell one of its three manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico.

The Indianapolis company said the manufacturing site in Guayama will remain in operation until the end of next year. All of the 100 full-time staff currently working there will be offered alternative employment at another of Lilly's locations on the island, which are in Carolina.

'The decision to conclude operations at Guayama is based upon the evolution of the company's pipeline, which includes a growing insulin and biologics portfolio, coupled with a less capacity-intensive small molecule portfolio,' said Paul Ahern, Senior Vice President of Global Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient and Dry Products Manufacturing at Eli Lilly.

'The utilisation of the site has been affected by patent expirations on the medicines produced there. As we assessed our long-term capacity needs, the company made the business decision to conclude manufacturing at the site.'

Maria Crowe, President for Lilly's Global Manufacturing Operations, added: 'For nearly 50 years, Puerto Rico has served as a major manufacturing location for Lilly, and it will remain so in the future. We have talented and experienced colleagues in Puerto Rico, and we are pleased to be able to maintain employment opportunities for the Lilly employees affected by this decision.'

As a result of the planned closure, Lilly will take a pre-tax charge of approximately US$170m in the fourth quarter of this year.

Lilly said it would continue to invest in its two manufacturing plants at Carolina. In November 2013, the company announced a $200m investment to increase capacity at the insulin active ingredient manufacturing plant, and in July this year announced an additional $40m in investments to increase capabilities at its drug product site in Carolina as part of a 'rebalancing' of its oral solid dosage network.

The company began manufacturing operations in Puerto Rico in 1965 and employs approximately 1,600 people there.

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