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UPDATE: Eli Lilly Creates Venture Fund to Invest in Biotechnology Startups

NEW YORK, Sept. 20 – Eli Lilly has formed a new $75 million venture capital fund, Lilly BioVentures, that will invest in early-stage biotechnology companies, Lilly said Thursday.  

The venture capital group will make initial investments of up to $5 million in companies developing new biotechnology or biopharmaceutical technologies, and companies developing new or improved platforms for drug discovery, Lilly said.

Such companies could include startups investigating a genomics approach to drug discovery, a spokesman said, as well as companies developing new strategies for identifying and processing drug candidates.

The Lilly fund would not act as an incubator for entrepreneurial ideas, the spokesman said, but would target early-stage companies in the US and in other countries. Companies that receive money from the fund are not restricted to working with Lilly, but are free to collaborate with other pharmaceutical companies, the spokesman said. 

In January, Indianapolis-based Lilly created the e-Lilly fund to invest in early stage e-business companies with applications in pharmaceuticals.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.