Eli Lilly has added a new state-of-the-art laboratory and 180,000 square feet of additional working space to its Biotechnology Center in San Diego, CA. Reporting completion of the $90-million expansion, Lilly said the 145% increase in working space will help to foster collaborations with external partners, and allow closer partnerships between its biotechnology, discovery chemistry, and research technology teams. The aim is to accelerate drug discovery within therapeutic areas including immunology, diabetes, oncology, neurodegeneration, and pain.

To further exploit its expertise in automated organic synthesis, and build on its Automated Synthesis Laboratory in Indianapolis, Lilly is also establishing the Lilly Life Science Studio at the San Diego site. The firm says the new facility will give researchers worldwide the ability to remotely test new ideas, and design, synthesize, and screen molecules.

“Investing in drug discovery and development is critical to maintaining an ecosystem that encourages and promotes innovation,” commented Jan Lundberg, Ph.D., executive vice president for science and technology and president of Lilly Research Laboratories. “Expanding our presence in San Diego will not only help us discover and deliver innovative medicines faster, but will also help us achieve our goal of launching 20 new medicines in 10 years.”

“This year we announced a commitment to invest $850 million in our U.S. operations based on our potential for growth and the company's long-standing investment in the U.S. market,” added David A. Ricks, Lilly's chairman, president, and CEO. “This investment doesn't come without risk. America's biopharmaceutical leadership is driven by a free-market economy that rewards innovation. Today, there are multiple public policy threats to our business that would discourage or reduce our investment in the U.S. and the state. We are committed to working with policymakers and stakeholders to ensure our efforts to deliver new innovative medicines to patients are not threatened.”

Lilly set up the San Diego Biotechnology Center, which is sited close to the University of California, San Diego, in 2009, having acquired Applied Molecular Evolution back in 2004.  

Earlier this month Lilly reported that it will acquire a pipeline of dual amylin calcitonin receptor agonists (DACRAs) from KeyBioscience for the potential treatment of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

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