Discovering & Developing New Medicines

Discovering Potential Medicines

At Lilly, we come to work every day to discover and deliver cutting-edge medicines that will make lives better. In order to accomplish this, it is essential we implement a discovery process that is both efficient in speeding medicines to patients and thorough in ensuring safety and efficacy of these medications.

We begin the discovery process by focusing on specific diseases and patient needs. Our scientists search for a disease’s biological targets in the body and use them to find or create unique molecules that might someday become ground-breaking medicines.

After the discovery process produces a promising lead, the new compound is moved into the development stage.

Developing Unique and Effective Medicines

In the development stage, Lilly scientists continue to learn about how the new compound metabolizes in the body and intervenes in the disease.

Researchers also probe to determine the proper dosage for a medicine to be effective and the level at which it might be toxic. They explore practical issues, including whether Lilly can manufacture the compound on a large scale or whether the compound will be stable enough to remain safe and effective in the patient's hands. All of this happens in preparation for the day when the first human dose can be administered.

Proving Safety and Effectiveness Through Clinical Studies

Clinical trials are the backbone of delivering innovative new medicines to patients, and patient participation in these studies is crucial. Clinical trials not only determine whether treatments are safe and effective, but they also often generate a wealth of information that can help guide further research, which could lead to identifying groundbreaking treatments for future generations.

Lilly conducts clinical studies around the world and markets its medicines in 120 countries. That means we must work through regulatory approval processes in each country to bring innovative cures to patients worldwide.

To learn more about clinical trials, watch this short video.