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Eli Lilly Opening Drug Delivery, Device Research Center

Cambridge, Mass. skyline

Kendall Square skyline, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Shinkuken, WikiMedia Commons)

6 May 2015. Pharmaceutical maker Eli Lilly and Company is opening a new research facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts concentrating on drug delivery and medical devices. The research center, in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, is expected to open by the end of 2015 and hire some 30 scientists and engineers.

The need for innovation in drug delivery and medical devices, says Jan Lundberg, president of Lilly’s research laboratories, is an outgrowth of the company’s new directions in biologics, that comprise more than half of its pipeline. The company says its revenues from device-related products are expected to double by 2020.

“New drug delivery and device innovation is critically important to Lilly’s growing portfolio of potential medicines,” notes Lundberg in a company statement, “particularly in our focus areas of diabetes, neurodegeneration, immunology and pain.”

The Lilly Cambridge Innovation Center is expected to be a makerspace, a term given to a collaborative studio-like facility that encourages experimentation and idea prototyping. The company anticipates hiring some 30 scientists and engineers for the center, increasing its research staff by 25 percent, and research space by half.

Cambridge was chosen for the location because of its proximity to top-level scientific and engineering talent. Lilly CEO John Lechleiter calls locating in Cambridge “a strategic move” that provides the company “access to a concentration of high-caliber academic institutions, cutting-edge life science and technology companies, and some of the world’s leading talent.”

The new facility joins Lilly’s existing research centers in San Diego, New York City, and Indianapolis, the site of its corporate headquarters. Divakar Ramakrishnan, the company’s vice-president for delivery and device research, tells more about the center in the following video.

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