Innovation Comes to Life

One really cool thing about working at a biopharmaceutical company is seeing innovation come to life. When an idea advances from the white board to the lab to media coverage, you quickly recognize the power of research and development.

Lilly recently experienced such progress with our Phenotypic Drug Discovery initiative (more commonly, it's known as PD²). As we blogged in December, PD² is a pro bono biological testing program that provides analysis of compounds submitted by outside investigators. It's a low-risk, high-reward initiative that has produced sustained interest (and could lead to breakthrough treatments for patients in a variety of areas).

One such a possibility was disclosed earlier this month. And, ironically -- despite receiving inquiries from about 200 institutions in 26 countries -- the new find was discovered in our own backyard. Researchers from the University of Notre Dame are now working with a Lilly team to determine whether their compound has the potential to treat cancer.

As described in the Indianapolis Business Journal earlier this month, PD² really is a win-win for Lilly and investigators. Lilly retains the first right to negotiate a collaboration or licensing agreement with external researchers who submit compounds for analysis. But if no agreement is reached, the external reseachers are granted no-strings-attached ownership of the data report for use in publications, grant proposals, or to further refine strutural hypotheses with Lilly's drug hunters. The ultimate goal, of course, is that patients one day will benefit from the discovery and development of new compounds. PD² is another innovative path toward that goal.