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Lilly to Close Singapore Discovery Center

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Eli Lilly will be closing the Lilly Singapore Centre for Drug Discovery by the end of the year, according to an email sent out this morning by Jonathon Sedgwick, Managing Director & Chief Scientific Officer, Lilly Singapore Centre for Drug Discovery (LSCDD).

The email, addressed to members of the Singapore scientific community, stated that LSCDD will cease operations in Singapore and the site will close by the end of 2010. Most of the ongoing drug discovery, biomarker, and computational sciences work will be transitioned to the U.S., said Sedgwick, as well as relocating “some of the key talent we recruited [in Singapore] to Corporate HQ [in Indianapolis, Indiana] to maintain continuity around the work initiated and developed at LSCDD.” Sedgwick said that Lilly hopes to retain as many scientific collaborations with the Singapore community into 2011 as possible.

Sedgwick expressed disappointment, however noted, “We are also very aware of the challenges Lilly faces in the next few years and that on occasion, difficult decisions will be made to ensure our R&D organization is structured best to develop novel medicines for patients.”

A spokesperson for LSCDD told Bio-IT World that staff were informed of the decision today, and that the closing will not affect Lilly’s research areas of focus. “Projects and capabilities deemed a priority for Lilly’s global research organization will be transitioned to the company’s global headquarters,” the spokesperson said, adding that, “Lilly employees in Singapore affected by the closure will have the opportunity to apply for limited jobs at our global headquarters.”

Lilly Sales and Marketing and Lilly’s phase 1 clinic, the Lilly-NUS Centre for Clinical Pharmacology, will remain in Singapore. The clinic is the only Lilly clinical pharmacological unit outside the U.S. with its own clinical research unit for conducting clinical trials with new pharmaceutical agents.

Lilly Singapore Centre for Drug Discovery currently houses a small component of oncology and diabetes drug discovery research as well as systems biology and an informatics/computational science group. The site has 130 employees and has had a presence in Singapore since 2002.

Source: Bio-IT World