Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health has opened a new research and development facility. The animal health division of Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) says the Vaccines Innovation Center will be the global centerpiece of its vaccines R&D operations.
The company says the facility’s design will "enable scientists to address some of animal health’s most pressing issues." The laboratory will enable researchers to work in the fields of immunology, molecular biology and microbiology.
One focus for the scientists working in the labs will be finding alternatives to antibiotics used in food animals. Those efforts include exploring vaccine possibilities for salmonella, which is projected to cause one million foodborne illnesses in the United States annually. The ongoing research is part of Elanco’s eight-point antibiotic stewardship plan rolled out last year.
Elanco President Jeff Simmons says the center "underscores our commitment to invest in innovation, bringing new antibiotic alternatives to market." In a release from Elanco, he said, "We’ve pledged at least two-thirds of our food animal research budget to development projects that address diseases where there are few, or no, alternatives to shared-class antibiotics. We are truly going where the unmet need is, where our customers and the animals they care for need the most help."
Scientists at the center will also conduct research on companion animal vaccines with more "patient-friendly" delivery technologies.