Lilly, IU School of Medicine team up on $5M immunology research pact

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Indiana University School of Medicine on Tuesday announced a 5-year, $5 million strategic research agreement with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. to study therapies designed to help people suffering from a variety of autoimmune diseases.

Under the agreement, researchers will study molecular and cellular changes in patients who used of some of Lilly’s current autoimmune therapies that are under consideration for the treatment of other autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.

Lilly will provide de-identified patient sample data from autoimmune clinical studies. The IU School of Medicine will analyze the samples, using its informatics, statistics, and clinical pharmacology capabilities, to better understand the effects of different immune therapies and .how they can be applied to developing new therapies.

“It’s an exciting day for Indiana, as these leading Hoosier organizations in the life sciences come together using some of our key precision health tools, to join forces in the fight against autoimmune diseases, illnesses that are continuing to grow in prevalence, said Dr. Jay L. Hess, dean of IU School of Medicine, in written remarks.

Lilly and IU School of Medicine will also use the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, which provides research support and infrastructure to researchers across the state.

“It makes sense for us to collaborate with IU School of Medicine and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, located in our own backyard,” said Patrik Jonsson, senior vice president and president of Lilly Bio-Medicines, in written comments. “IU has a positive reputation for analytics and informatics that we hope will benefit our autoimmune pipeline for the patients it serves.”

Findings from the research agreement are expected to be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Andrew Dahlem, chief of the division of clinical pharmacology at IU School of Medicine, said the partnership, if successful, could someday be expanded to include health conditions outside of immunology.

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