Lilly outsourcing bioanalytics as part of broad restructuring effort

Eli Lilly, one of the pioneers of Big Pharma outsourcing, is shifting bioanalytics work from its facilities and into the hands of a contractor. Advion BioServices is picking up the preclinical R&D contract and any of the 26 Lilly employees who want to migrate to the new lab that Advion is building in Indianapolis. And the contractor intends to immediately hire 49 workers with plans to build its base there to 66 staffers.

Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter (photo) has adamantly avoided the megamerger approach to finding new products. But under his leadership, the company has been actively finding ways to outsource as much R&D work as it can. A little more than two years ago, Lilly sold its Greenfield, IN labs to Covance for $50 million, inking a 10-year R&D contract in return. And Lechleiter has made no secret of the fact that outsourcing has been a key part of the company's restructuring efforts.

That outsourcing approach has been a boon for Advion. The company is spending $6 million on its new, 22,000-square-foot lab and earned support from economic development officials who have been quick to back the growth of these new companies that are being lured to Indianapolis. And the Lilly endorsement could work wonders for these contractors as they market themselves to others.

"The establishment of this laboratory in Indianapolis further strengthens our relationship with Lilly as a key partner in bioanalytical services while positioning Advion to be one of the largest and most-respected bioanalytical service providers in North America," said David Patteson, the CEO of Advion.

- here's the Advion release
- get the story from the Indianapolis Star