Eli Lilly joins SBC's campus & supports neurodegenerative disease challenge

Company to benefit from thriving open innovation network at SBC

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, is pleased to announce two link-ups with Eli Lilly, both focused on open innovation. Under the first, Lilly, which was one of the first adopters of open innovation in the life sciences, is to establish a partnership desk at SBC to enable it tap into the incubator's broad network in both biotech and academia. Secondly, with neuroscience one of the company's areas of expertise, it has agreed to support SBC's open innovation challenge in neurodegenerative disease. This initiative, the incubator's first disease-specific open innovation challenge, was developed to address growing healthcare needs in neurodegenerative disease. 

The Open Innovation Challenge in Neurodegenerative Disease was launched by SBC, Manchester: Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology (MIMIT) and six leading Academic Health Science Centre Technology Transfer Organisations1 in May 20142. The research proposals which have been received will undergo review by a panel of industry, public sector and research charity experts, including sponsors such as Lilly. The results are expected to be announced at the beginning of 2015, and the company's involvement will broaden the range of projects which can be supported.  

Since opening for business at the beginning of 2012, the open innovation network at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst has expanded significantly. It encompasses its tenants, now numbering nearly 50, pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare companies, universities, charities and public sector organisations. Lilly expects to have a regular presence at the incubator, gaining an insight into new developments in the sector and becoming part of the growing SBC community.

Darren Carroll, Vice President of Corporate Business Development at Eli Lilly, said 'We are delighted to be a part of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.  We believe that collaborations such as these between industry and academia can help speed the delivery of new treatments for unmet medical needs. Each of our recent investments reflects Lilly’s strong belief in the excellence of life science research and development in the UK and will complement our own R&D and existing academic partnerships to help make life better for patients around the world.'

Martino Picardo, CEO of SBC, said, 'Eli Lilly's involvement in the open innovation challenge for neurodegenerative disease and in our network is a great validation of the thriving hub we are building here. We are delighted to welcome the company to the campus, and look forward to a long and successful relationship.'

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