IBJNews

To attack costs, Lilly accelerates R&D

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

With President Barack Obama looking to squeeze a bit more revenue out of the pharmaceutical industry, the stakes just keep getting higher for Eli Lilly and Co.’s efforts to develop drugs faster and cheaper.

Lilly is already trying to shave a year or more off the time it takes the company’s scientists to turn a drug discovery into an experimental drug tested in humans.

The company wants that process to average just 1,000 days—which is two years, nine months. Currently, it takes Lilly one or two years longer than that, said Andy Dahlem, vice president of the company’s research and development arm, Lilly Research Laboratories.

The industry average is 4.5 years, according to PhRMA, a trade group of drugmakers, including Lilly. It takes another decade for a drug to pass through clinical trials and hit the market.

“The drug development cycle time is taking longer. From a patient perspective, that is unacceptable,” Dahlem said at a briefing with reporters on Feb. 26. Dahlem wants to meet the 1,000-day goal by 2015.

Lilly is in a hurry about everything these days. That's because it faces the loss of more than half its sales in the next five years due to patent expirations on five of its best-selling drugs. The company can no longer afford to spend as much time (and therefore money) figuring out if a drug is ready for human trials.

Lilly also discussed Friday how its partnership with New Jersey-based Covance Inc. is helping it speed drug development. Covance acquired Lilly’s Greenfield Laboratories, along with 264 employees, in fall 2008. Lilly signed a 10-year contract with Covance for drug-development services.

The collaboration has yielded “tens of millions” of dollars in savings so far, the companies announced, and has saved time. As one example, Lilly and Covance officials said Covance can report toxicology results in 56 days, compared to the 89 days under Lilly's watch.

Just 10 more innovations like that, and Lilly will have saved a year in time. That’s important, because the company is trying to reduce its overall costs for bringing a new drug to market to $800 million. The company spends about $1 billion per new drug now.

Obama’s reforms, if enacted, could complicate things for Lilly. The company and its industry peers support Obama’s efforts to extend insurance coverage to 30 million more Americans (making more of them capable of buying expensive drugs) and reduce the amount Medicare recipients pay out of pocket for prescription drugs.

But Obama’s latest plan, issued Feb. 22, would assess $3.3 billion a year in fees on drugmakers and would insist on $90 million in price cuts for Medicare beneficiaries. Both totals are larger than the industry agreed to.

Lilly has more exposure than most of its peers to Medicare and Medicaid, the government-run health insurance programs. Its best-selling drug, the antipsychotic Zyprexa, is taken by many nursing home patients, most of whom pay their bills with Medicare or Medicaid.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

ADVERTISEMENT