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Eli Lilly completes $90m expansion of biotechnology center in San Diego

Published 23 June 2017

Eli Lilly and Company has completed the $90m expansion of its biotechnology center in San Diego, California, US.

Lilly's new space will help foster and accelerate the discovery of medicines within the company's core therapeutic areas of immunology, diabetes, oncology and neurodegeneration, as well as the emerging area of pain.

"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," said David A. Ricks, Lilly's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Today, as part of that commitment, we are pleased to say our research footprint in San Diego has been expanded."

The center features a new technologically-advanced laboratory and an additional 180,000 square feet of working space, which is an increase of 145 percent compared to the former facility.

In addition to the center's established presence in preclinical and clinical immunology research, the new space allows for closer partnership between Lilly experts in biotechnology, discovery chemistry and research technologies while also fostering external collaborations.

"Being in the San Diego area for the last 13 years has been a game changer for us, specifically in the arena of discovering medicines for hard-to-treat autoimmune conditions," said Thomas F. Bumol, Ph.D., senior vice president of biotechnology and immunology research at Lilly. "With compounds such as Taltz® (ixekizumab) for psoriasis, we've not only provided patients with a new treatment option, but we've also moved the needle for advancing science."

As a pioneer in automated organic synthesis, Lilly is creating the Lilly Life Science Studio in San Diego. Building upon Lilly's Automated Synthesis Laboratory in Indianapolis, the new facility will allow researchers across the globe to remotely design, synthesize and screen investigational molecules in an unprecedented manner.

Using the power of automation, the Lilly Life Sciences Studio will shape the next generation of drug discovery and expand the reach of individual scientists to test new ideas, while reducing the cost and minimizing the environmental impact of our research activities.

"Investing in drug discovery and development is critical to maintaining an ecosystem that encourages and promotes innovation. Our expansion in San Diego is a prime example of investing in a research success story," said 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."

San Diego has long been an important location for Lilly. In 2004 Lilly acquired Applied Molecular Evolution, Inc. before establishing the Lilly San Diego Biotechnology Center in 2009, located near the University of California, San Diego, among other prominent biomedical research institutes. Since its establishment, the center has created more than 100 jobs with more than 200 scientists currently working in various research activities.

"Congratulations to Lilly on the expansion of its new Biotechnology Center, which will double its drug research and development in San Diego, create high-quality jobs, and encourage collaboration on groundbreaking therapies that improve patient care and lower costs," said Representative Scott Peters (D-CA 52nd Congressional District). "San Diego's life sciences industry is changing the face of medicine and companies like Lilly are driving this innovation."

Nearly $250 million of Lilly's $850 million capital investments will be dedicated to supporting its research and development centers around the U.S., including the center in San Diego, in 2017.  Lilly's other U.S. research centers are located in Indianapolis, Indiana; Cambridge, Massachusetts; New York, New York; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 2017, Lilly plans to spend approximately $5 billion on global R&D, nearly $4 billion of which will be invested in U.S. based programs, including projects with many of California's leading biomedical research institutions.

"This investment doesn't come without risk. America's biopharmaceutical leadership is driven by a free-market economy that rewards innovation," said Ricks. "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."



Source: Company Press Release