Lilly Accelerates Cancer R&D with Speed and Precision

Eli Lilly and Company  | May 28, 2020

When you hear “biotech startup,” you might think: small; nimble; calculated risk. Well, what if you could combine that flexibility with the experience, resources and long-standing relationships of a larger biopharmaceutical company? That was the idea behind Loxo Oncology at Lilly, a partnership between Lilly Research Laboratories and Loxo Oncology, which was acquired by Lilly in 2019.

The recently formed organization, responsible for research, early-phase clinical development and regulatory affairs for Lilly’s oncology pipeline, is a relatively new model for drug development. “Our mission is to bring new life-changing medicines to people living with cancer as fast as possible,” said Anne White, president of Lilly Oncology, “We felt the best way to speed discovery and development was to marry the strengths and capabilities of both companies to create one very strong organization.”

Along with speed, precision is also at the heart of this partnership. Precision medicine, or the ability to target specific genomic alterations driving disease, has been a focus of Loxo Oncology since its inception and is a priority for Lilly Oncology. This field has not only begun to produce more powerful, targeted cancer therapies, but also has the potential to produce medicines with fewer side effects than less targeted treatments, such as chemotherapy.

White, as well as a clinical trial patient who has benefited from precision medicine, recently shared insight into how Lilly is working to accelerate cancer research and development (R&D) and what that means to patients via an episode of Lilly’s Elixir Factor podcast.

Listen to the full recording here.

“Oncology research is moving very rapidly,” said White. “In this scientific environment, our partnership is focused on getting patients the right treatment at the right time as quickly as possible.”