Lilly strategy chief heralds licensing deals, bigger Chorus role

Eli Lilly's head of strategy, Gino Santini, was talking up the pharma giant's drug development strategy at the BIO-Europe confab in Vienna, outlining plans to boost its pace of licensing deals and beefing up the early-stage work in its early-stage research arm dubbed Chorus. Santini also said that Lilly is more interested in finding new financing to bankroll more expensive late-stage programs rather than work in tandem with other companies, helping Lilly maintain ownership of its assets.

The strategy head told the group that Lilly would be talking more about its plans to put more of its drug candidates into Chorus within a few weeks. And Lilly is also looking for fresh financial backing for Chorus. It was set up at Lilly to act as something of a skunkworks division, finding more efficient methods to advance early-stage prospects to proof-of-concept. And there have been reports of internal tension inside Lilly's R&D ops as researchers compete for money and attention.

- check out the report from Dow Jones