What types of projects will you fund through the Lilly Research Awards Program? Can you provide examples?
The projects will focus on early stage discovery and development activities that will bolster the Lilly pipeline of tomorrow. Examples include development of new assays, validation of disease targets or biomarkers and improvement of preclinical models. Projects selected for funding fulfill several important criteria, including global reach, application across multiple therapeutic areas and multiple functionalities and potential to improve the humanization of drug discovery. Three of the 11 projects Lilly has committed to funding are:
Department of Neurobiology, University Hospital Copenhagen, Denmark: two-year program that will explore the potential expression and function of novel receptor variants in the brain to generate more robust findings regarding their roles in cognition, particularly as they relate to schizophrenia and Alzheimers' disease, which could lead to the advancement of new molecules into clinical development.
Institute of Neuroscience, Alicante, Spain: two-year program that will advance the understanding of the neurobiology of schizophrenia in order to help manage cognitive impairment and treat negative symptoms of the disease.
Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis: two-year program to study the roles played by distinct types of signals associated with chronic pain disorders with the long-term goal of discovering new treatments for neurological disorders and pain that deliver better patient outcomes.
What is the process for determining who gets the award?
Non-confidential proposals will be prepared jointly by the internal Lilly scientist sponsoring the project and the external investigator according to guidelines established by Lilly. Proposals will be submitted by internal Lilly scientists and reviewed on a quarterly basis by the LRL Innovation Facilitation Team, a panel of Lilly’s top scientists, and prioritized for funding based on the following considerations:
Novelty/potential impact of proposed research
Successful track record of the Internal Sponsor (LRL Co-Principal Investigator)
Successful track records of other LRL scientists to be involved in the proposed research
Successful track record of the external investigator (External Co-Principal Investigator)
External institution research facilities
Feasibility/Integration of the internal and external work plans
Funding prioritization decisions together with written confidential feedback on the proposals will be made available to the Internal Sponsor within 30 days of the close of each application cycle.
What is the average number of proposals you receive during each cycle?
To date, we have received 43 submissions. We were very encouraged by the high rate of response.