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Lilly Announces New Investment to Further Boost Its Biotechnology Capabilities
Date:6/28/2011

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the BIO International Convention, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced a multi-million dollar investment to expand its existing biotechnology capabilities. This investment is further fueling research and development of multi-specific therapeutics, in which two or more distinct mechanisms of action are engineered in one molecule with the goal of providing enhanced efficacy with an improved safety profile.

"In many therapeutic areas -- for instance, diabetes and oncology-- one medicine isn't enough for patients to manage their disease," said Tom Bumol, Ph.D., vice president of biotechnology discovery research at Lilly. "With our extensive biologics experience, we can now engineer new therapies where one medicine essentially provides the benefit of two. This could produce real benefits for patients, healthcare professionals and payors."  

Lilly already has several multi-specific therapeutics in preclinical development, including a co-agonist peptide being studied as a potential treatment for diabetes that is anticipated to enter clinical development by the end of this year. Lilly is hiring additional biochemists and biologists to further support its important work in multi-specific therapeutics. These new employees will work at Lilly's biotechnology facilities in Indianapolis and San Diego.

Multi-specific therapeutics are different from combination therapies. With combination therapies, molecules are administered separately to hit two or more targets that contribute to disease. With multi-specific therapeutics, two or more mechanisms of action are literally combined with molecular biology into a single molecule to hit these same targets. Scientists believe that they can design these novel molecules with protein engineering strategies that maximize therapeutic benefit while also minimizing or even remov
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