Eli Lilly’s SLD Technology Transfera
In 2003, Eli Lilly and Company launched the Eli Lilly MDR TB partnership (the “Partnership”). As part of the Partnership, Eli Lilly committed to transfer the technology necessary to manufacture two SLDs (cycloserine and capreomycin) to partners globally, some of whom would be located in countries with the highest MDR TB burden. In this way, Eli Lilly hoped to improve the availability of these drugs and the sustainability of their supply. In addition, between 2003 and 2011, Eli Lilly manufactured and supplied these two medicines to the WHO mechanism at concessionary prices. Eli Lilly stopped supplying cycloserine in 2006 and stopped manufacturing capreomycin in 2011, by which time several of its partners were able to supply the market.
To illustrate the rationale behind Eli Lilly’s decision to transfer the technology for the manufacture of capreomycin, Iain Richardson, Senior Director, Global Supply Chain and Logistics, Eli Lilly and Company, explained that by 2011, despite having already doubled the company’s internal capacity, manufacturing was “running flat out” and still only supplying sufficient medicine to treat approximately 7,000 patients. However, the installed capacity across Eli Lilly’s partners far exceeds Eli Lilly’s own capacity, thereby better assuring supply. Richardson also illustrated that Eli Lilly’s cost structure for cycloserine manufacture was simply not competitive when compared with other manufacturers that had different scale and overhead drivers.
Such factors drove Eli Lilly’s decision to transfer the technology for the manufacture of those two drugs, with the intention of creating a sustainable long-term supply and increasing market volume, by shifting production to low-cost manufacturing partners in high-burden countries. Richardson described how that technology was transferred via the Partnership to seven manufacturers, including several in high-burden countries (China, India, Russia, and South Africa). All of those manufacturers now have regulatory approvals, six have stringent regulatory approvals or WHO PQ, and one has national regulatory authority (NRA) and pending WHO PQ approval. Eli Lilly has continued its involvement with those partners in their ongoing attempts to expand the SLD market and provide treatments to patients.
a This box is based on the presentation by Iain Richardson, Senior Director, Global Supply Chain and Logistics, Eli Lilly and Company.