Developing new medicines that save and improve lives is the heartbeat of our business. It's why the people who really understand medicine and research come to work each day. And, starting this week, a group of cancer scientists from our ImClone subsidiary will be doing just that from new state-of-the-art digs in New York City.
Jan Lundberg (Lilly's executive vice president of science and technology) and John Johnson (president of Lilly Oncology) were among those attending a grand opening today at the new Alexandria Center™ for Life Science, overlooking the East River between E. 28th and E. 30th streets. Lilly is the new center's anchor tenant and will conduct critical biologics research on potential cancer treatments across 90,000 square feet (by the way, last year we opened a biotechnology center in San Diego. The rest of our U.S. research is conducted in Indianapolis).
Lundberg has led the company's R&D efforts since early this year, and he spent time today talking about Lilly's mission to help people live longer, healthier, and more active lives. The researchers at ImClone have played a vital role in peppering our pipeline with potential treatments for cancer. Many -- including those outside our oncology business -- are biologics. In fact, of the company's 70 potential treatments in our pipeline, 40 percent are biologics. That's why Dr. Lundberg devoted time to new legislation that will help innovative companies continue their important work.
The new health care reform law provides 12 years of data protection for approved biologic treatments (plus six additional months for pediatric indications). "Certainly this has positive ramifications for our company, and others who undertake biotechnology research," Lundberg told gathered for the New York opening.
And here's why: researchers will continue their work knowing that vital medical innovation is being rewarded. Lilly spent more than $4 billion on research and development in 2009, and the data protection language will allow these important investments to continue.
"The cost of the individual components of drug discovery -- such as creating a drug, running clinical trials, analyzing data, compiling a new drug application -- is very high and well defined," Lundberg told the audience. "Because of that there needs to be an attractive return on a high risk investment. But the value of the end product -- with 40 percent of our pipeline having the potential to produce new biologic medicines that help patients and their families is, well....priceless. These patients are our friends, our loved ones, and in some cases, ourselves. At the end of the day, delivering new medicines to improve outcomes for individual patients is what motives all of Lilly Research Labs each and every day."