NIH, Lilly Produce Menu for Innovators

Medical innovation can spawn more medical innovation. Even drug research that plows into a scientific brick wall can produce insight for the next innovator.

Lilly - a company that invests in R&D at a higher rate than most of our peers - has embraced this approach for years. Today, the National Institutes of Health announced a partnership with Lilly on the important mission of making more data available for researchers.

Here's how it will work: the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences - a newly established NIH organization - will have its collection of 3,800 approved and investigational pharmaceutical compounds screened via Lilly's Phenotypic Drug Discovery panel, a state-of-the-art tool that evaluates potential new treatments. The tool, known more commonly as PD2, will provide a platform for studying existing compounds or treatments. Starting points for research leading to new medicines also could be uncovered.

"This initiative is a great example of how we can collectively leverage unique capabilities from the public and private sectors toward our shared goal of advancing science and improving patients' lives," said Alan Palkowitz, Ph.D., vice president of discovery chemistry research and technology at Lilly. "It also attests to the importance of collaborative research because, despite major advances in biomedical science, much work remains to be done."

Thomas R. Insel, M.D., acting director of NCATS, said the project "is exactly the type of partnership that NCATS is eager to foster with many other groups from industry, government, and academia." It's a great next step in the innovation journey for Lilly, too. For more details, read the press release from NIH.