Eli Lilly has launched a new global innovation initiative to help increase the speed of delivery of new medicines to patients.
Innovation Starts Here will see scientists from the Lilly Research Awards Program and the Lilly Innovation Fellowship Awards collaborate with researchers to aid the advancement of its pipeline.
Dr Jan Lundberg, Executive Vice President, Science and Technology, and President, Lilly Research Laboratories, says the initiative is “contributing to a global collaborative culture for idea generation and innovation”.
Lilly’s new innovation awards scheme will foster post-doctoral career development through specifically selected research proposals. The programme has been created to broaden the company’s scientists’ training experience in preparation for a range of future careers.
The research awards programme aims to bring together specialists in an effort to further advance research in important therapeutic areas such as neuroscience, cancer, diabetes, immune system disorders and others. The scheme was established towards the end of 2011 to complement collaborations between Lilly scientists and global external academics.
“Collaboration is a key component to discovering innovative medicines and improving outcomes for patients,” said Dr Lundberg. “Finding innovative medicines that have clear, demonstrable value for those diseases where the unmet need is great – like diabetes and Alzheimer's disease – is not only a scientific imperative, it’s an economic one as well.”
Lilly hopes the important programmes will also further its own R&D in Europe, as well as the US.
Last year, the company’s global investments in R&D totalled more than $5 billion. It has also doubled its R&D investments in Europe over the past decade. Recent initiatives in Europe include multiple clinical trials, involvement in the Innovative Medicines Initiative, the creation of Cognitive Neuroscience and plans to open a new building at its Erl Wood Research Centre in the UK.