Developing Next-Generation Innovation in Cancer Research

"I wake up every day knowing that whatever we get done today might change the lives of patients facing cancer," says Dr. Kim Blackwell, M.D., vice president, early-phase development and immuno-oncology at Lilly Oncology. "At Lilly Oncology, we understand that for patients facing cancer, time is important. Every day, hour and minute is precious, and we use that to fuel our drive for innovation, speed and high-impact research."

Last year, Lilly refined its oncology R&D strategy, bringing an increased focus and prioritization of our oncology pipeline to allow us to pursue and invest aggressively in molecules with the greatest chance of delivering breakthrough medicine. Part of this strategy included prioritizing our early-phase pipeline assets, as well as increasing our footprint in immuno-oncology, further strengthened through our hiring of Dr. Blackwell.

Dr. Blackwell, responsible for incredible advances in the treatment of breast cancer while at Duke University, was named one of TIME magazine’s Top 100 influential people in the world. She brings with her more than 20 years of clinical trial experience, as well as a strong background in predictive oncology biomarkers.

Under Dr. Blackwell's leadership, we will continue to study the effect of targeted treatment using the patient’s immune system as its biggest weapon against cancer. Her team is committed to bringing new treatments to oncologists, and working alongside them to search for ways to make even greater differences in the lives of people living with cancer. She plays an important role in helping us identify early-stage molecules, based on the promise of science and strong collaboration, and then bringing these therapies to people living with cancer as quickly as possible. To further support this initiative, Dr. Blackwell has recruited Dr. Leena Gandhi to provide world-class expertise for our immuno-oncology portfolio development.

At Lilly, our success isn’t based on the number of medicines we discover and develop, but rather on bringing the right medicine to the right patient at the right time.