Inauguration of the Lilly-PCB Laboratory
On Friday 11th June, the Parc Científic de Barcelona (PCB, Barcelona Science Park) and the pharmaceutical company Lilly officially presented the Lilly-PCB Laboratory. Lilly aims to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of the Combinatorial Chemistry Platform at the PCB in order to increase its capacity to generate new molecules with pharmaceutical potential and to promote scientific developments that allow the company to speed up the identification of molecular leads.
The presentation was held in the Fèlix Serratosa Hall in the PCB Modular Building and included contributions from the rector of the UB and president of the PCB, Joan Tugores, the director of the PCB, Màrius Rubiralta, the R+D Director of Lilly in Europe, Jesús Ezquerra, and the scientific director of the Combinatorial Chemistry Platform, Fernando Albericio. In his presentation, Dr. Rubiralta remarked that “the Laboratory is another example of the contribution of the PCB to the development of new collaboration initiatives between the public and private sector which also contribute to economic growth”. “The collaboration between the PCB and the pharmaceutical company will not be a service contract but an exchange of know-how and technology that will benefit both parties”, explained Jesús Ezquerra.
Lilly, a pharmaceutical company with its head offices in Indianapolis, Indiana, focuses on the development of new products by strengthening the R+D performed in its laboratories and in collaboration with other scientific entities. In Spain, the company has a plant and an R+D centre specialized in organic chemistry in Alcobendas, Madrid. This centre employs more that 100 scientists who work in fields such as neuroscience, endocrinology, oncology, the production of insulin or in lines related to women’s health. In 2003 the Spanish subsidiary, which had a turnover of 600.9 million Euros, invested 35.5 million Euros in R+D and performed 48 clinical studies.
The projects developed at the Lilly-PCB Laboratory will be done in collaboration with the Combinatorial Chemistry Platform, headed by the researcher Miriam Royo. This service is a new structure equipped with powerful state-of-the-art technology, thereby ensuring a quality service. The Platform is also engaged in several lines of research. One of seven set up at the PCB, this Platform is devoted particularly to the design and synthesis of chemical libraries for the characterization of novel organic compounds for the development of new drugs. This activity is included in the field of combinatorial chemistry; an area in which, according to the scientific director Fernando Albericio, “great progress has been made in the last 15 years, both in methodology and technology, thereby making it an essential tool for research in the chemical and pharmaceutical, and material science sectors. This development has allowed the set up of highly technical laboratories, which are available to only a few companies and research centres, as is the case at the PCB”.