Eli Lilly to close UK neuroscience research centre

22nd Oct 2019

Eli Lilly have recently announced that it will unfortunately close the Research Centre in Erl Wood, Surrey, by the end of 2020, as part of an ongoing global review of research operations that reflects the changing way in which medicines are discovered and developed. 

In its own words, Eli Lilly 'has for over 140 years united caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world'. The Erl Wood neuroscience Research & Development Centre has greatly contributed to this purpose since being established in Surrey 50 years ago by playing a key role in neuroscience advancement. 

Eli Lily has made various strategic choices over time and plans to consolidate laboratory-based UK research efforts to other global centres to further enable transformation, which aims to deliver medicines from the lab to patients faster. The company has also stated that its long-standing commitment to neuroscience research is not altered by this proposal. It will retain core clinical and regulatory functions in the UK and will continue to undertake research collaborations and partnership activity in the UK with academia, the NHS and biotechnology companies.

Founded by the 38-year-old pharmaceutical chemist and veteran of the US Civil War, Colonel Eli Lilly, in 1876, Lilly is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with over 38,000 employees worldwide. The company works to develop and deliver trusted medicines to meet global healthcare needs. Research has long been at the forefront of the company, with internal research efforts primarily focused on speciality care (including therapeutic areas of neuroscience), diabetes, oncology and animal health.

The research centre in Erl Wood was opened in 1967 and was the first to appear outside the US. Since then, it’s played a key role in some of Lilly’s most important breakthroughs, including the discovery of their most successful medicine, olanzapine. In addition to the research centre at Erl Wood, there is a considerable R&D presence located across five other sites in Spain, Italy, France and Ireland, as well as ten other sites beyond.

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