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Lilly To Provide Free Access to Drug Discovery Platform Under New Collaborative Initiative

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Eli Lilly & Co. said today that it will provide free access to its drug discovery technology to potential collaborators who want to evaluate the therapeutic potential of their compounds.

Under the new program, called the Phenotypic Drug Discovery Initiative, or PD2, Lilly said it will provide free, confidential access to its drug discovery assays via a secure web portal in a move intended to provide "a more convenient point of entry for global external researchers into Lilly's drug discovery and development process."

Findings from the initiative "could ultimately form the basis for collaboration or licensing agreements between Lilly and external institutions," the company said.

Researchers can use the online PD2 interface to confidentially submit a structure of a compound that Lilly will evaluate computationally with a set of proprietary algorithms focused on drug-like properties and structural novelty. If the compound structure meets "certain specified criteria," Lilly said it will invite the researcher to submit a physical sample for biological testing.

After it completes biological testing, Lilly will provide the external researcher with a complete biological profile of the compound across four assay modules: Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. "Because these data are derived from sophisticated and systematic in vitro model systems, they provide researchers with broader assessments of a compound's biological profile than what is generally available today in academic or government laboratories," the company said.

Lilly said that all of the testing is free, and all intellectual property rights initially remain with the submitting researcher or institution. However, in return for the biological profile, Lilly has first rights to exclusively negotiate a collaboration or licensing agreement with submitters of promising compounds.

"If there is no agreement within a defined time period, the researcher is granted no-strings-attached ownership of the data report and can choose to use it in publication or grant proposals, or to further refine structural hypotheses, all of which may advance scientific discovery," Lilly said.

Additional information about the program is available here.

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