Eli Lilly and Company is investing $700 million to build a state-of-the-art facility in Boston’s seaport as part of plans to advance its RNA-based research and development activities.
The new Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine opened on February 22 and builds on Lilly’s 2020 acquisition of Prevail Therapeutics, the New York-based gene therapy developer. At the new facility, researchers and scientists from New York and Boston will work together to build on their expertise in RNA and DNA-based technologies to develop treatments for diseases with major unmet needs. Their focus would be to prevent or treat diseases that are not possible with traditional medicines.
Eli Lilly’s genetic medicine research efforts already account for over 20% of its immunology, diabetes and central nervous system portfolio. The firm expects manpower at its new Boston site to grow from 120 to over 250 in the next five years to include more chemists, research biologists, data scientists and other genetic medicine experts. Its New York facility is also expected to expand to as many as 200 scientists in-house.
“Establishing the Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine will allow us to pair cutting-edge technologies with our deep biological expertise in several areas including neuroscience and diabetes. We will focus on medicines acting at the nucleic acid level to advance an entirely new class that targets the root cause of diseases, an approach that is fundamentally different from medicines available today,” said Andrew C. Adams, vice president of genetic medicine at Lilly, in a statement.
The new Boston site boasts 334,000 square feet of leased space in a 12-story building. It will also include shared space to support start-up biotech firms that want to take up shop in the Boston area. Lilly projects this endeavor will create around 150 new jobs once all slots are filled. Occupancy is set for 2024.
“We look forward to working with hundreds of scientists and researchers who share a common goal — to create and develop innovative genetic medicines that make life better for people around the world,” added Franz Hefti, the CEO of Prevail Therapeutics at Lilly and the Institute’s co-director.
About Eli Lilly and Company
Eli Lilly and Company is an American pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, with offices in 18 countries. Its products are sold in approximately 125 countries. The company was founded in 1876 by, and named after, Colonel Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical chemist and veteran of the American Civil War.
Today Lilly is known best forclinical depression drugs Prozac (1986) and Cymbalta (2004) and antipsychotic medication Zyprexa (1996), though its biggest revenue drivers are diabetes drugs Trulicity (2014) and Humalog (1996).