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Lilly Centre for Clinical Pharmacology opens research facility, signs MOU

LILLY Centre for Clinical Pharmacology (LCCP), a subsidiary of US-based Eli Lilly and Company, has opened a 40,600 square foot, S$30 million research facility in Biopolis.

LCCP conducts clinical trials in healthy participants and patients, with a primary focus on first human dose studies and the development of new medicines for diabetes.

The new research facility includes nurse stations, wards, a pharmacy, a laboratory and a recreation room.

"Singapore is recognised as a regional centre of excellence in technology and research and development, and offers a competitive talent pool within Asia-Pacific," said Tim Garnett, chief medical officer and senior vice-president, Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company.

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Dr Garnett said that after more than 20 years of operations in Singapore, the company is "excited to open this larger facility and improve its capabilities to help speed the development of new medicines for people around the world".

LCCP has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), in which both parties commit to collaborate on early-stage clinical trials for new drugs and the mutual development of scientific talent that will contribute to Singapore's burgeoning biomedical ecosystem.

Both parties will look to investigate new drugs for a range of diseases including metabolic diseases like diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's dementia and diseases linked to the immune system such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Danny Soon, senior director, Biomedical Research Council, A*STAR, is confident that this collaboration will accelerate the progression of drug targets through early-stage clinical trials and groom scientific talent for Singapore's drug discovery and development ecosystem.

LCCP will branch out to include more patients in studies of new drugs in the areas of diabetes, neuroscience and autoimmune diseases.

Also in the pipeline are collaborations with local specialists, hospitals and clinics, which will expand its inclusion of patients in clinical trials.

The company will also build new capabilities such as the Good Manufacturing Practice pharmacy, which is an early-phase clinical trial manufacturing pharmacy that will allow drugs to be manufactured onsite instead of outside of Singapore.

"The opening of Lilly's new facility is testament to the strong partnership that Lilly has with Singapore since the establishment of its first clinical trial unit here in 1997," said Ho Weng Si, director, Healthcare, Economic Development Board (EDB). "Lilly's expansion will help to build important capabilities, further strengthening our local biomedical sciences ecosystem," she added.

Ms Ho said that EDB looks forward to growing this partnership, and will continue to support global pharmaceutical companies such as Lilly in developing innovative therapeutics to address unmet medical needs.