Year: 2013-14

Company: Eli Lilly & Co.

Liaison(s): Tony Zhang

Eli Lilly and Company is a global, research-based pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded more than 135 years ago, Lilly is at the forefront of pharmaceutical research and development in both small molecules and biologics. Lilly’s portfolio contains products that meet medical needs in the therapeutic areas of oncology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disease, neuroscience, critical care and men’s health. Eli Lilly’s products are sold in more than 125 countries and include the blockbuster drugs Evista®, Cymbalta®, Humalog®, Gemzar® and Cialis®. Eli Lilly believes that social media could represent a viable channel to understand patients’ needs better. People regularly discuss their health and treatment options online. These conversations on social media websites may offer different points of view from traditional venues and may provide unique insight to drive pharmaceutical product design and innovation. The Eli Lilly TMP team was asked to conduct a feasibility study to determine if valuable patient insight could be obtained from Twitter for the therapeutic areas of rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. To accomplish this goal, the TMP team worked with a third-party vendor to procure Twitter datasets. The team then analyzed these datasets utilizing Big Data analytic approaches to provide Lilly with recommendations on ways to apply these insights in product design. Additionally, the team provided Lilly with an algorithm which can be applied to other therapeutic areas of interest. In conclusion, the Lilly Data Mining TMP team provided an analysis of the potential options and limitations of leveraging the social media space. Furthermore, the TMP team clarified the constraints of leveraging social media in a highly regulated environment. As a follow-up to the Lilly Data Mining TMP research, the team expects to present its findings at a national conference in June.