Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) says it will invest $700 million to establish the Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine in Boston to accelerate the development of RNA and DNA-based medicines. The company says the project builds on the 2020 acquisition of New York City-based Prevail Therapeutics, a biotech company specializing in gene therapy.
Lilly says researchers at both locations will collaborate on technologies to develop therapies to treat diseases that is currently not available with traditional medicines.
“Establishing the Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine will allow us to pair cutting-edge technologies with our deep biological expertise in several areas including neuroscience and diabetes,” said Andrew Adams, vice president of genetic medicine at Lilly and co-director of the Institute. “Lilly will focus on medicines acting at the nucleic acid level to advance an entirely new class that target the root cause of diseases, an approach that is fundamentally different than medicines available today.”
Lilly is projecting that within 5 years, the Boston site will grow from 120 to more than 250 research biologists, chemists, and data scientists. Concurrently, the New York site will grow to include up to 200 scientists.
The institute will be based in the Seaport district of Boston, a rapidly growing mixed-use neighborhood of business offices, cultural centers, residences and retail near the waterfront.
Lilly says the site will also include a shared space to support biotech startups in the Boston area.
The institute is scheduled to occupy the space in 2024.