INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has opened its first shared innovation lab in San Francisco. The 65,000-square-foot lab will focus on fostering collaboration with local biotech companies.

Lilly Gateway Labs says it will offer companies direct access to Lilly scientists, team members and executives, as well as exposure to Lilly's scientific and functional expertise.

"Lilly is making this investment to help speed the discovery of medicines," said Dan Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., president of Lilly Research Laboratories and chief scientific officer, Eli Lilly and Company. "This model will enable scientists to do what they do best, in an environment that fosters scientific breakthrough. We're excited to see how it will impact our ability to deliver new solutions for patients."

The lab also serves to strengthen the relationship Lilly has with California-based medical companies.

"Lilly chose the Bay Area as the location for Lilly Gateway Labs for many reasons, including the ability to tap into the hotbed of biotech innovation already based here," said Julie Gilmore, Ph.D., site head and chief operations officer, Lilly Gateway Labs. "We're excited to further extend our California footprint because of the supportive scientific environment which enables all aspects of drug discovery."

The lab features 32 private lab modules that can accommodate six to eight scientists. The space has open areas for collaboration, where scientific symposia and programming will be hosted by Lilly for companies at the site as well as the broader Bay Area scientific community, according to the company.