INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Local and state government officials joined representatives from Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today to announce a $140 million expansion to the company's Indianapolis insulin manufacturing operations. The 80,000-square-foot expansion, which will enable the manufacturing of insulin cartridges to meet the growing diabetes demand in the U.S., represents one of the most significant investments in Lilly's U.S.-based manufacturing operations in the past decade. Construction will begin immediately with completion expected in March 2014. During this period, construction trade staffing will average 250, with peak employment at approximately 350 workers at the site. Once operational in 2015, more than 100 full-time, highly skilled, specialized technicians, scientists, and engineers will be needed to manage the operations. Diabetes care is a major segment of Lilly's pharmaceutical business with projections from health care experts – including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – indicating that as many as one in three U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050. The rise in prevalence of the disease is due, in part, to an aging population more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, increases in minority populations that are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, and people with diabetes living longer. Diabetes afflicted 366 million people worldwide last year, according to the International Diabetes Federation. John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Lilly's chairman, president, and chief executive officer, said that Lilly's commitment to meeting the long-term needs of people with diabetes in the U.S., as well as its role as a biomedical leader in Indiana, drove the company's decision to build this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Indianapolis. "Lilly is committed to providing a full range of innovative treatment options for people with diabetes," said Lechleiter. "The need in our country is great – and it is growing. This investment will help us to better meet that need while expanding our advanced manufacturing footprint in our home state – helping to strengthen Indiana's bioscience industry." Lechleiter said the new facility will manufacture insulin cartridges for people with diabetes. It will be a first-of-its-kind facility for Lilly in the U.S.