Lilly in Europe: Sesto, Italy


Lilly has been operating in Italy for more than 50 years. Check out our infographic below for more details on our footprint and activities in the country.

Italy infographic.PNG 

Last year, Lilly Italy ranked in the top ten of the best working environments (see the Great Place to Work® Institute).

Headquartered in Sesto Fiorentino (Florence) our Italian operations are home to one of Italy's largest sites for the production of medicines.


Below are some key facts on our manufacturing operations in Sesto. Lilly's Sesto manufacturing site is benefiting from recent investments in innovation, adding to the growth the site has seen over the years:


· Lilly's Sesto manufacturing site is one of the largest facilities for biotech products in Italy.

· It is the only site in Italy to produce insulin.

· Total amount of investment on the site = €332 million invested from 2005 to 2012.

· The plant supplies cartridges and pre-filled devices of human insulin and insulin analogues of recombinant DNA origin for international markets.

· Export = 98% of total production.

· The high-tech plant includes advanced levels of process automation, paperless working instructions and co-generation energy production.

· The plant covers 43,000 square metres housing around 550 employees: 

  • 25% University graduates
  • 35% Specialized technicians
  • 40% Operators

· Estimated supply chain employment = 1,000-1,500 people.

· Production volume at full capacity = up to 150 million insulin cartridges and 45 million pre-filled pens.

· Italian site produces 1/3 of the global volume of insulin for Lilly.


Sesto through the years:


· Manufacturing operations start in 1962.

· Production was concentrated on a variety of products, including oral and injectable medicines for human use and veterinary products.

· Site covered approximately 8,000 square metres.

· Lilly Italy started serving only the Italian market and then grew to a regional mission.


· Change of site from a local site to a global one (US Food and Drug Administration approved).

· Production fully dedicated to oral and injectable cephalosporins.

· Lilly Italy supports more than 100 external markets, including US (90% destined for export)


· In 2003 site mission changed: from cephalosporins (terminated in 2005) to recombinant DNA insulins and analogues.