Eli Lilly will invest more than $700 million to enhance its insulin manufacturing capacity in Puerto Rico, France and China, as well as at home in the USA.

The cash brings to $1 billion the amount Lilly is investing in this area this year. Nearly half of that will improve sites at the company's headquarters in Indianapolis, where it  been manufacturing insulin since 1923.

Some $350 million of the new investment is going into expanding capacity in China, where almost 100 million people have diabetes; as many as three-quarters of them are not having adequate control of their disease. Jacques Tapiero, head of Lilly's emerging markets unit, noted that the figure is projected to rise to more than 142 million by 2035.

About $120 million will be spent in France, while Indianapolis and Puerto Rico will get $245 million to expand insulin-active-ingredient and delivery device manufacturing capacity.

Enrique Conterno, head of Lilly Diabetes, noted that "insulin is a cornerstone of diabetes treatment and its use will only continue to increase". The company noted that it currently has 14 new molecular entities in clinical development, including three under regulatory review and another in Phase III, for diabetes and related complications.