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Lilly and Argonne National Laboratory Announce $2 Million Upgrade to Lilly's Beamline Capabilities
Date:7/14/2011

funded by Lilly and supports LRL's objective of producing more "timely shots in goal," in other words, getting medicines approved and available as quickly as possible to the patients who are waiting.

A simple way to think about the work Lilly scientists are conducting at its beamline facility is to view the disease protein they are studying as the "lock" and the molecule as the "key." The beamline helps researchers determine if the molecule (the key) can unlock the protein disease target (the lock) and therefore change its behavior.

To do this, Lilly chemists typically develop large numbers of molecules (keys) and add the molecules to the protein disease target (locks), developed by Lilly structural biologists, to create protein crystals. Once this process is complete, the crystals are sent to the LRL-CAT beamline facility via overnight delivery for analysis. The LRL-CAT beamline utilizes x-rays to determine if and how the molecule was able to "unlock" the protein, usually within minutes of acquisition. Based on the results from the data, Lilly scientists are able to quickly create better "keys." The facility currently examines more than 10,000 protein crystals per year and supports nearly half of Lilly's research portfolio.

"Utilizing the team and beamline at Argonne to develop potential medicines to treat diseases like Alzheimer's is a great example of technology and the human mind coming together. Lilly scientists utilized beamline data to help design our beta-secretase inhibitor which is currently in Phase I clinical testing to determine its potential as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. In this specific instance they have come together literally to learn to save the human mind," said Jan Lundberg, Ph.D., executive vice president, science and technology, and president, Lilly Research Laboratories.

"The APS has long been a hotspot of pharmaceutical research and has become an increasingly important tool for Lilly and other pharmaceu
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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