The announcement comes at a time when Lilly’s drug pipeline is shifting towards injectables, accompanying an industry-wide boom in biologics. The company says it expects its revenues from device-enabled products to double by 2020.
The Lilly Cambridge Innovation Center will employ about 30 scientists and engineers over the next two years, the company said. Construction will begin immediately, and the site will open by the end of the year.
Lilly said it expects the facility to increased drug delivery and medical device R&D by almost 50%, with a 25% increase in staff.
CEO John Lechleiter said the company chose Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA, for its location in an engineering and life sciences hotbed.
"The Lilly Cambridge Innovation Center complements a deliberate push by the company to be an industry leader in providing convenient, reliable drug delivery and device innovation," he said.
"Locating in Cambridge is an important strategic move for achieving this goal, as it provides us access to a concentration of high-calibre academic institutions, cutting-edge life science and technology companies, and some of the world's leading talent."
The centre will be used as a hub for external partnerships, and for collaboration with Lilly’s research facilities in San Diego, New York City and Indianapolis. The company said the site will also improve its business development presence locally.
The investment "underscores Lilly's commitment to providing meaningful innovation in this arena," said Jan Lundberg, Executive Vice President of Science and Technology and President of Lilly Research Laboratories.
"New drug delivery and device innovation is critically important to Lilly's growing portfolio of potential medicines, particularly in our focus areas of diabetes, neurodegeneration, immunology and pain,” said Lundberg.
“The best therapies of the future will marry breakthrough scientific discovery with customer-friendly devices. That's what will make life better for people who need our medicines and give Lilly a true competitive edge."