Scientific Partnering Areas of Interest
No Two Approaches Are the Same – but the Goal Always Is
Our ultimate goal is to efficiently and creatively connect resources and expertise with alternative and integrated development models.
Our Resources Are Your Resources
Working with Lilly means your team will have access to more than 6,000 scientists who are recognized worldwide for their deep expertise and advanced research capabilities. Our evaluation provides an independent, objective review of molecules, processes and technologies.
We’re trying to change the frontiers of what’s possible in medicine. Our vision is to change patients’ expectations – to provide a new sense of hope for people suffering from some of the world’s most debilitating diseases.
David A. RicksChairman and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company
What's Under the Microscope – and Beyond
The discovery of new medicines is about being relentless. You will gain access to Lilly development team with decades of experience dedicated to exploring every avenue necessary.
We never stop searching for:
Medicines that are novel, tailored and differentiated from the current standard of care
New ways to address unmet medical needs
Treatments, therapies, technologies and devices that generate better outcomes for payers, providers, prescribers and patients
And it's all done with a true sense of urgency, ensuring our medicines reach patients as soon as possible.
Note: Neither the content nor any other service presented here is intended to be relied on for medical diagnosis or treatment.
- Loxo Oncology at Lilly is actively seeking partnerships with world-class industry and academic collaborators in order to optimize and accelerate the development of new cancer medicines. We are focused on opportunities across discovery and development stage assets with the potential to:
- Demonstrate unequivocal activity early in the drug development process
- Deliver outsized and differentiated effects for patients.
We are agnostic to the biologic basis of programs, so long as we have high conviction in the science and believe they will matter for patients.
- Neurodegenerative Disease
- Novel therapeutic approaches for disease modification in neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
- Novel treatments that address the symptoms of neurodegenerative disease including psychosis, cognitive impairment, agitation, mood and sleep
- Novel therapeutic approaches for rare neurological diseases
- The highest priorities for Lilly’s Pain and Migraine team are the following:
- Novel approaches to treat chronic musculoskeletal, neuropathic and visceral pain
- Novel treatments for migraine and other forms of disabling headache
- Novel ‘disease modifying’ approaches to addressing the underlying causes of pain, for example, peripheral neuropathy or musculoskeletal degeneration
- Insulins and Glucagon
- Glucose-responsive/sensing insulin
- Next-generation insulins (formulation-based approaches to improve PK, concentration and/or stability of existing insulins)
Technology and Devices
- Novel approaches relevant to the development of an artificial pancreas
- Breakthrough diabetes device technology (hardware or software)
- Novel GLP-1 based therapies, including combinations to treat Type 2 diabetes or obesity with potential for CV benefits
- Oral peptide/protein delivery platforms and therapeutics
Obesity and Diabetes Disease Modification
- Pathways and mechanisms that result in breakthrough weight loss alone or in combination with incretin-based therapies (>10% as monotherapy and additive/synergistic with incretins)
- Diabetes regression and durability of response (e.g., modifiers of beta-cell health)
Heart Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease, NASH, ASCVD
- Focus on pathways affecting multiple cardiometabolic disorders and potential for breakthrough outcomes
- Heart Failure (HFrEF, HFpEF): Novel mechanisms that can be used in conjunction with existing standard of care. Areas of focus include targets that impinge on cardiac substrate utilization and metabolism, remodeling and vascular health.
- Chronic kidney disease: Novel mechanisms related to endothelial dysfunction, remodeling and alteration of tissue metabolism. Pathways with potential for combined cardiorenal benefit.
- NASH: Intersecting pathways of lipid metabolism, insulin sensitization and weight loss. Pathways combinable with incretins.
- ASCVD: Approaches that provide differentiated CV benefit with potential for insulin sensitization. Novel approaches to diabetic dyslipidemia.
Type 1 Diabetes
- Islet replacement therapy
- Safe modulators of autoimmunity
- New therapeutic modalities with potential for diabetes and related disorders (RNA-based therapies; genomic medicine)
- Diabetic neuropathy disease remediation/Neuropathic pain (intersects with our Pain TA)
Out of Scope
- Insulin secretagogues with no added metabolic benefits
- Wound healing
- Acute myocardial infarction/ischemia-reperfusion therapies
- Acute/ischemic stroke
- Peripheral arterial disease
- The immunology platform’s mission is to address unmet medical needs with best-in-disease or best-in-class medicines and to deliver unparalleled customer experiences – with a strong focus on small molecule and biologics in the following indications:
Indications in Scope
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Lupus nephritis
- Atopic dermatitis
Technologies in Scope
- Interested in small molecule NMEs with biologic efficacy, and no increased safety risk
- Antibodies that have a durable MOA with a greatly improved clinical efficacy over standard of care
- Nanoparticles for use in tolerance
Out of Scope
- Lilly’s emerging technology and innovation team complements therapeutic area-specific external research efforts by providing distinct geographic coverage plus access to novel pathways and new therapeutic modalities. We specialize in connecting partners to Lilly expertise and deploying flexible funding models. The team is comprised of experienced drug discovery and development scientists based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (an external research hub established in 2016); Indianapolis, Indiana; and Europe; with additional members in Japan.
New opportunities of interest include pan-therapeutic and adjacent disease areas, as well as added support for Lilly’s core therapeutic areas. We are committed to collaboration with premier universities, investigators and companies around the world to advance innovation, enhance Lilly’s pipeline and improve patient outcomes.
Novel Biologic Pathways
Emphasis on those with multi-therapeutic area potential and emerging novel targets.
- Examples include: ribosomal control of protein expression, micro-RNA; exosome biology; epigenetics
- New therapeutic modalities (including, but not limited to, oligonucleotide-based approaches, gene editing, gene therapy, microbiome, cell-based approaches)
- Novel approaches to “drug” difficult targets (e.g., small molecule RNA inhibitors, cell-penetrant peptide platforms, protein degradation/stabilizers)
Adjacent Disease Areas
- Examples include: fibrosis, kidney disease, other disorders of immune function, broader neurological conditions
Alternative Funding and Partnering Models
This team has expertise in – and access to – flexible funding models for advancing exciting science.
- Strategic limited partnerships in world-class venture funds. These funds work with scientific and business leaders to advance breakthrough innovation. A key strategy involves early development funding and co-funding opportunities (emphasis on leveraging Lilly’s Chorus organization)
- Direct equity investments in selected biotechnology companies
- “Build-to-buy” investments
- Other “shared-risk” drug discovery and early development relationships
- Lilly Chorus is a fully integrated, early-stage drug development team with a scope including IND-enabling preclinical studies through Phase 2 development. Chorus specializes in delivery of rapid, efficient and cost-effective clinical proof-of-concept results. The team has extensive experience in developing externally derived molecules in partnership with selected venture capital firms (including HealthCare Ventures, TVM Capital and Atlas Ventures).
- Collaborative Research
The Lilly Biotechnology Discovery Research groups in Indianapolis and San Diego, California, are seeking academic and biotechnology partners interested in leveraging our protein discovery, engineering and formulation/delivery capabilities to advance research on novel therapeutic targets and pathways into clinical translation. With our ability to create a large molecule diversity via robust antibody and peptide discovery technologies, a collaboration with biotechnology discovery research allows for the rigorous interrogation and validation of novel targets. The integration of our engineering and formulation/delivery capabilities allow pursuit of multi-parameter optimization to solve key issues with pharmacology, drugability and down-stream developability spanning traditional scaffolds to next-generation multi-functionals. These varied scaffolds (including peptides, antibodies, hormones, cytokines and enzymes) have successfully been applied to a broad range of clinical targets.
Biotherapeutic Discovery and Validation
- Antibody discovery and antibody screening platforms
- Bi-specific/multi-functional platforms
- Alternative antibody scaffolds
- Protein engineering
- Translational cell-based platforms
- iPS cell differentiation
- Vascular endothelial cell biology
- Protein expression and production technologies
- Protein purification processes
- Peptide chemistry – Semi-synthetic or recombinant – Non-natural amino acid incorporation
- Protein-protein interaction inhibitors – Macrocyclic peptides
- Peptide/protein drug conjugates - Novel linker and conjugation chemistries
- Site-specific chemical modification
- Time extension of antibodies, peptides and proteins
- Biophysical analysis
- Mass spectrometry data analysis tools
- Characterization of particle mass, composition and morphology
- High resolution protein structure
- Automated and low volume formats for existing biophysical techniques
- Protein colloidal stability and protein-protein interactions at high concentration
Biotherapeutic Formulation and Delivery
- Oral peptide and protein delivery
- Permeation enhancers
- Receptor-mediated transcytosis
- Crossing the blood-brain barrier and capillary endothelial barrier
- Modulating pericellular junctions
- Formulation design
- Excipients, co-formulations and nanotechnologies
- Stabilization of high concentration formulations
- Our greatest interests lie in device, delivery and connected solutions for diabetes, neurodegeneration, immunology, pain and oncology, with a specific focus in the following areas:
Drug Delivery Systems
- Needle-free delivery technologies
- Device technologies, including body-worn devices, to rapidly deliver high-volume (>2ml) and/or high-viscosity (>10 cpd) biologic solutions
- Technologies for improving the user injection experience
- Tissue-targeted delivery systems (e.g., lymphatic delivery, delivery across blood brain barrier)
- Delivery of nucleotide and gene therapies
- Multi-use devices
- Oral delivery of large molecular weight compounds
Connected Product Systems
- Connected drug delivery devices and point-of-care diagnostics
- Next-generation subsystems including miniaturized electronics, batteries/power management systems, computing, and communication
- Products or technologies to enable subcutaneous insulin infusion sites to remain viable for extended periods of time
- Novel biosensing technologies, minimally invasive sensing and digital biomarker platforms (that are directly applicable to the disease states above)
- Personalized, prescriptive algorithms/machine learning for disease management that could be incorporated into mobile medical apps and/or clinical decision support
- Connected primary and secondary packaging
- Formulation technology to reduce viscosity and/or enhance stability of biologics
- Preservation technology to enable multi-use biological preps
- Technologies to increase concentration of proteins
- Chorus is a full-service, autonomous special force within Lilly that specializes in lean to PoC clinical development for internal (Lilly) and external assets. Learn more about this unit.
Learn more about Chorus in this brochure and in this article: A Decade of Innovation in Pharmaceutical R&D: the Chorus Model
- Lilly’s discovery chemistry research and technologies (DCRT) team invents and discovers new small molecules that can become medicines. These molecules must have the right characteristics to test innovative therapeutic hypotheses and be differentiated from those of our competitors. To achieve this, DCRT partners with all therapeutic areas within Lilly to choose the right biological targets whose manipulation may lead to positive patient outcomes. DCRT brings together many different scientific disciplines to design, prepare, and select the best molecular scaffolds for optimization, with the ultimate goal of delivering a single molecule that has the best combination of attributes to be tested in the clinic.
Molecule Design & Identification
- In silico and related technologies, including artificial intelligence/machine learning for novel drug discovery
- Novel analytical methodologies and instrumentation to improve efficiency
- Complementary chemical diversity
- DNA-encoded libraries
- Oral strategies for high MW molecules
- Protein: Protein interaction inhibitors and inhibitors of protein misfolding
- Protein degradation methodology
- CRISPR platforms (CRISPR Library's, Screening Platforms, Genome editing in cell culture and animal [knockout/knock-in])
- 2D/3D organoid technologies
- Platforms for measuring covalent drug-target occupancy and drug (ligand) binding residence times
- Novel human disease-relevant in vitro cell-based assays
- Novel biological targets and assay approaches, including protein translation
- Cell imaging and analytical biosensor platforms for elucidating MOA
- Chemoinformatics techniques (analytical, biophysical, biochemical, chemical probes)
- Lilly Gateway Labs offers a unique environment that advances innovation by providing resources to biotech companies to foster and speed the discovery of innovative medicines. Biotech companies that rent space at Lilly Gateway Labs in South San Francisco operate in independent laboratories with flexible, modern wet-lab space; connected modules that allow for company growth; and centralized facilities, with IT, safety and environmental services. Companies may also have the potential opportunity to work alongside Lilly scientists, team members and executives on projects of mutual interest, in addition to participating in shared learning forums with Lilly experts and partners. To learn more about this opportunity, email LillyGatewayLabs@lilly.com.
- The Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego (LBC-SD) is seeking academic and biotechnology partners interested in leveraging our protein discovery and engineering capabilities to advance research on novel therapeutic targets and pathways into clinical translation. With our ability to create a large molecule diversity via robust antibody and peptide discovery technologies, a collaboration with LBC-SD allows the rigorous interrogation and validation of novel targets. Our engineering capabilities allow pursuit of flexible strategies of multi-parameter optimization to solve key issues with pharmacology, drugability and down-stream developability spanning traditional scaffolds to next-generation multifunctionals. These varied scaffolds (including antibodies, hormones, cytokines and enzymes) have successfully been applied to a broad range of clinical targets.
- Our greatest interests lie in exploring the adoption of digital technologies both as novel therapeutic modalities and also towards the advancement of translational research. The adoption of digital technologies in the context of care management is an additional area of focus.
Therapeutic areas of interest include cardio-metabolic disease, neuro-degenerative disease, immunology, pain and oncology. Areas of specific interest include:
Improved Diagnoses/Health System Entry
- Biomarkers for identifying conditions: This includes the use of wearables/sensors and accompanying apps to generate hypothesis and correlate to specific diseases/co-morbidities.
- Analytics platforms, including novel algorithms and deep learning techniques, for the development and optimization of actionable insights for personalized disease management
- Apps/services supporting patient diagnosis
Treatment and Support
- Digital therapeutic modalities: used as standalone regulated treatment modalities or as adjuncts to drug therapy; we are interested in exploring non-regulated solutions as well
- Right therapy at the right time
- Connected devices: This includes devices for measuring specific biomarkers, consumer devices leveraged for health care applications, drug delivery devices (connected and stand-alone) and packaging
- Patient-facing apps/interfaces: This includes apps for disease awareness (logbooks, education tools), disease management: (digital therapies, treatment algorithms, wellness partnerships), drug companion (dose tracking, timing, drug refills, dosing algorithms, biomarkers for monitoring, connected sensors/delivery device APIs) and social media platforms/communities
- Clinical decision support tools for providers: This includes platforms used for population health, risk stratification and personalization of recommendations to individual patients.
- Patient-facing support: coaching, financial counseling, access and disease support resources
- Clinical trial and real world evidence platforms: registries for clinical trial participation, integration with third party data sources, EHR integration
- Health system digitization platforms: Solutions enabling efficient health care delivery, democratization of health data access to the patient and their methods for interacting with the health system