Year: 2018-19

Company: Eli Lilly

Liaison(s): Justin Burt, Todd Gillespie, Thierry Masquelin

Lilly is a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its products are sold in approximately 125 countries. The company was founded in 1876 by Col. Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical chemist and veteran of the American Civil War.

Lilly broadly employs laboratory automation capabilities throughout research and development, yet the full potential of these investments to accelerate the discovery and delivery of life-changing medicines is not currently being realized. This research project explores the development of a holistic laboratory automation strategy for Lilly, a paradigm-shifting utilization mechanism and resource model that will enhance productivity, reproducibility, speed, safety, data integrity and quality, while reducing costs and cycle-time.

Lab automation is ubiquitous across the biopharma industry, and Lilly has chosen to implement this research project as a pre-competitive knowledge sharing initiative. Thus, Lilly will be sharing findings with all peer biopharma companies that opt to participate in the primary research.

The KGI team have worked closely with liaisons from Lilly to design and rollout surveys directed at distinct groups of lab automation stakeholders. Specifically, the primary research involved on-line surveys and targeted interviews with direct users of lab automation, scientific group leaders, and upper management stakeholders at several major biopharmaceutical companies. The key findings have been shared with Lilly stakeholders and as one example, they indicate that automation users and group leaders are not frequently communicating across the organization but when they do, the quality of information is extremely valuable.