Lilly to build $70M R&D facility in Indy

Eli Lilly and Co. will build a $70 million research and development complex by 2017 at its Indianapolis headquarters, the drugmaker announced Monday morning.

The 130,000-square foot facility will be a center for research work on so called small molecule drugs that can be turned into pills as opposed to large molecule or protein-based drugs that are typically injected.

The facility will allow organic chemists and engineers to work side by side, and will include flexible laboratory spaces that can be altered as research needs change.

"Ultimately, innovation is often tied to where and how we work together, so we wanted to create an environment that could unlock this potential," said Bret Huff, Lilly’s vice president of small molecule design and development, in a prepared statement. "We believe this expansion will allow for greater collaboration among Lilly's small molecule research experts, which will help to further accelerate the development of new medicines within the company's core therapeutic areas."

Lilly did not announce if the expansion will include the addition of new research and development jobs. Lilly currently employs 4,400 research and development workers in Indianapolis.

This is Lilly's fourth research and development expansion this year. In May, Lilly announced it would build a delivery and device innovation center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In July, Lilly announced an expansion of its biotechnology center in San Diego, California. In October, Lilly announced an expansion of oncology team at its offices in New York City.

In 2013, Lilly announced a $400 million expansion of its insulin production facilities in Indianapolis.

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