- Eli Lilly and laboratory technology provider Strateos said Thursday they're opening a remote-controlled robotic lab at the pharma's biotech center in San Diego.
- The 11,500-square-foot facility has more than 100 instruments and space to store more than 5 million compounds, the companies said in a Jan. 9 statement.
- Strateos, which will operate the lab, said it will make its cloud-based platform open to researchers and early-stage companies seeking to use the lab for drug discovery. Scientists can remotely control their experiments, which will be conducted by robots in a closed-loop system.
The San Diego lab is an example of how drugmakers are experimenting with new R&D processes and techniques. While still wedded to outdated manufacturing methods like batch-based production, pharmaceutical companies have adopted automation and are exploring new ways of conducting research.
As with other pharmas, Lilly often works with early-stage companies looking to prove out a therapeutic hypothesis. Centers like Lilly's in San Diego can give larger comapnies an eye into new, emerging research that they might be interested in down the road.
"Through the studio lab, emerging drug discovery companies can gain access to a variety of tools and throughput usually reserved for much larger organizations," said Bill Heath, senior vice president of Lilly's Molecule Innovation Hub, in the statement.
The lab is located within the Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego. It’s part of a $90 million expansion Lilly undertook in 2017.
Scientists can carry out testing in several areas of drug discovery, including design, synthesis, purification, sample management and hypothesis testing, the companies said.
Strateos said access will be available to new and existing users of its Robotic Cloud Lab platform. Other technology partners include Hamilton, The Morse Group, Zinsser, Chemspeed, Hamilton Storage, Labcyte, Biosero, Tek-Matic, Accelerated Machine Design and Engineering, and Virscidian.