Eli Lilly announced an expansion of their manufacturing capabilities in China through an expanded collaboration with Novast Laboratories, a generic and specialty pharmaceutical company based in Nantong, China. The collaboration will enhance Lilly’s efforts to build a portfolio of Lilly branded generic medicines in China, and eventually may be used to provide regional manufacturing support for Lilly’s pipeline of products in development.
Lilly made an initial equity investment in Novast several years ago through the Lilly venture capital unit, Lilly Asian Ventures, and the new agreement increases Lilly’s equity position by $20 million. As part of the agreement, Novast has committed to set up a platform to support Lilly branded generic products and increase the manufacturing capacity at its Nantong site over the next several years, with Lilly providing technical support to enhance quality standards. The additional capacity will support the collaboration, but will not be solely dedicated to Lilly products. The two companies have selected an initial list of medicines across multiple therapeutic areas that will be manufactured by Novast once the facilities are operational.
"In China, Lilly is building for the future by investing across our value chain," said Eric Baclet, president and general manager of Lilly China in the press release. "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."