Session on pharmaceutical innovation, collaboration and policy will feature presentation by Lilly CEO, discussion with President Daniels

September 22, 2014  


Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Eli Lilly and Co. Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter will join Purdue University President Mitch Daniels for a presentation and discussion about innovation policy and the pharmaceutical industry at 2:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 25) in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse.

"Based on its exceptional recent performance and promise, the Purdue faculty selected our drug discovery program as one of two areas for our largest investments in basic research," Daniels said. "We are especially proud to learn more about the new, more collaborative environment in this area of science from John Lechleiter, one of America's finest CEOs and Indiana's finest citizens."

During the hour-long session, Lechleiter will give a talk titled "Collaboration, Innovation, Opportunity." Daniels will then join Lechleiter for a discussion and a question-and-answer session with the audience.

John Lechleiter

John Lechleiter
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"Biopharmaceutical companies and research universities are forming new collaborative relationships to advance R&D on innovative medicines," Lechleiter said. "This is a response to the opportunity created by an explosion of scientific knowledge and growing demand for new medicines, and to the pressures weighing on the traditional models of both industry and academia. New working relationships are speeding advances and creating new opportunities for researchers across the innovation network."

The event, hosted by Purdue Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships and sponsored by the Purdue Global Policy Research Institute and Lilly, is free and open to the public.

Daniels, who served as president of Lilly's North American Operations from 1993-97 and senior vice president of corporate strategy and policy from 1997-2001, said few universities can match the depth and breadth of Purdue's research capabilities and talent.

Researchers at Purdue are at work on more than 30 new compounds in various stages of clinical development, with a number approaching federal approval.

And drug discovery, a cornerstone of his Purdue Moves initiative, is beginning a new chapter at Purdue with the recent opening of two new research buildings in Discovery Park, the Drug Discovery and the Bindley Multidisciplinary Cancer Research facilities.

"Major pharmaceutical companies like Lilly are taking note of the work being done at Purdue and other research universities, particularly the early testing and validation of drug compounds," Daniels said. "The industry wants to be confident in a drug candidate before pursuing it, since it can cost $1.4 billion and take a decade to introduce a new prescription drug to the marketplace."

Lechleiter, who has served as Lilly president and CEO since 2008 and board chairman since early 2009, joined the Indianapolis-based company in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development and became head of that department in 1982.

In 1984 he began serving as director of pharmaceutical product development for the Lilly Research Centre Limited in Windlesham, England. He later held roles in project management, regulatory affairs, product development and pharma operations. In 2005 he was named president and chief operating officer and joined the board of directors.

Lechleiter earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Xavier University and master’s and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He has received honorary doctorates from Marian University in Indianapolis, the University of Indianapolis, the National University of Ireland, Indiana University and Franklin College. 

Media Contacts:

Phillip Fiorini, Purdue University, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Ed Sagebiel, 317-433-9899, sagebiel_edward_g@lilly.com

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