Eli Lilly bets on insulin research and generics manufacturing in China

Eli Lilly ($LLY) is putting its cards on the table in China by boosting its contract research and manufacturing capabilities there.

The pharmaceutical giant announced this week that it is investing $20 million in Nantong-based Novast Laboratories, calling upon the Chinese drugmaker to manufacture generics for Chinese patients, according to an Eli Lilly statement. The agreement, which also includes increasing Novast's manufacturing capacity, comes years after Lilly and one of its VC units, Lilly Asian Ventures, made an equity investment in Novast.

"In China, Lilly is building for the future by investing across our value chain," stated Eric Baclet, president and general manager of Lilly China. "We have made significant investments in research and development, increased our commercial presence to better serve patients and healthcare providers, and expanded our manufacturing capabilities both at Lilly-owned sites and through partner companies such as Novast. We are committed to help meet the medical needs of the Chinese people by providing innovative medicines of the highest quality."

Lilly's work in China doesn't end with Novast. As inPharma-Technologist reports, Lilly is trying to crack into the insulin market, by continuing research efforts into two, in-development basal insulins in its pipeline. To help move that along, Lilly will look to one of its key CRO partners, Covance ($CVD), to cover preclinical diabetes services in China after opening a diabetes-focused R&D facility in Shanghai this month, according to inPharma-Technologist.

- read more from inPharma-Technologist
- get the Eli Lilly statement

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