BIO Brings Us Together

Today's guest blog comes from Darren Carroll, senior vice president of Corporate Business Development at Lilly. He oversees mergers and acquisitions, business collaborations and partnerships, and more. 


Darren's ultimate goal is to find molecules and technologies that add value to our pipeline.

These days the Bay Area is one of the international hubs for biotech innovation, making San Francisco the perfect place for the annual BIO International Convention. This year, Lilly continues its involvement in this annual gathering, but I know I’m not alone in feeling that there’s something special this time around.

It could be that we’re coming off some big milestones back in our hometown of Indianapolis, where we’ve been celebrating our 140th anniversary, but I’ve got a hunch that this moment is bigger than us. So why is this year different than other years?

There’s a new spirit of collaboration afoot.

All across the world scientists, researchers and organizations have begun to truly harness the power of partnership. At Lilly, we’ve embraced that trend through our unique approach to advancing innovation. Our goal is not only to innovate in research but to complement internal development with the best discoveries from outside the company. In fact, our expertise -- whether it’s in research, clinical development, regulatory science, commercialization or other key capabilities --- is often what makes us an attractive partner, and it gives us a competitive edge in understanding value. We're focused on drawing on our decades of scientific expertise to identify opportunities to partner in novel ways.

Organizations are embracing adaptability.

Folks in San Francisco understand that what works for one person may not work for someone else. That’s just as true when it comes to creating partnerships. There's no "one size fits all" approach when working with our collaborators. We create strategies that are custom-tailored, creatively pulling together technology, resources and expertise to line up together. To ensure a successful outcome, we work closely with collaborators to usher new ideas from discovery to development and then market. Business deals aren't handoffs to us. Real success comes from working right alongside partners.

Begin with the end in mind.

It may seem a little old school to bring up Stephen Covey, but when it comes to the work that we do, the end is what matters. In our industry, the end means helping treat cancer, manage diabetes, or improve someone’s quality of life. It’s about making life better. Our teams from business development, Lilly Research Laboratories and the business units work together to actively pursue molecules and technologies in our core therapeutic areas of diabetes, oncology, neurodegeneration, immunology and pain. We're also pursuing deals and collaborations at ever-earlier stages. The next 18 months could see regulatory submission and/or decision for up to 7 potential new medicines. And guess what? Of those, 4 are a result of business development deals.

For those of you at BIO this week, I encourage you to embrace the spirit of partnership. Collaboration is central to our past, present and future. As we celebrate our 140th anniversary this year, we're firmly committed to that. That's what will pay off for patients and add value for shareholders. That's what "making life better" looks like in action.