Big Week For Lilly in 'Frisco

INDIANAPOLIS -

This week's 34th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is one of the industry's biggest events, and for Eli Lilly and Company, one that has added importance this year. Coming out of one of the darkest periods in company history, Lilly is ready to tell its growth story to the biggest players in the business. "There is no bigger conference in the entire industry," said Lilly Senior Vice President of Corporate Development Darren Carroll. "Everybody who has anything to do with the creation of new companies, mergers and acquisitions and licensing is there." During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Carroll discussed the importance of the event to Lilly and the state.

Lilly is sending a team of senior executives, led by Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter, who will make a formal presentation Tuesday. He'll talk about emerging from the so-called "YZ Years," a historic patent cliff that resulted in billions in lost revenues and severe cuts, including thousands of layoffs.

Lechleiter is also expected to tell the story of a company energized by a return to growth, fueled by a commitment to a focus on research and development that remained a priority, even during the dark years.  

"We're primed for solid growth," said Carroll. "We've got new medicines that we are ready to launch around the world and we've also got a large number of medicines that are in late stage development, ready to go into regulatory submission, so for us, we continue to reload the pipeline, this is a really critical conference."

Often referred to as the "Super Bowl of Biotech," the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference begins today and runs through Thursday and is expected to attract more than 10,000 pharmaceutical and biotech  executives, venture capitalists, investment bankers and university representatives from around the world.

That means the conference is fertile ground for deals to be initiated or accelerated.

Carroll says Lilly execs are heading west with a message for current and any potential partners. "We've been partnering for over 90 years, so this isn’t new to us," said Carroll, noting that Lilly got its start in the diabetes business through a partnership with the University of Toronto.

"Of the seven molecules in the next 18 month that will be going into regulatory submission or, hopefully, approval, four of those have come from acquisitions or licensing deals. Our expertise in clinical development and commercialization can add quite a lot to the products that other companies have developed or begun and we can help bring them to the marketplace."

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