Lilly uses web system to find a few diamonds in the rough

Open source, collaborative discovery models are all the rage these days.

Researchers interested in vetting their compound's potential while looking for the opportunity to hook up with a pharma giant might like to explore Eli Lilly's ($LLY) "open innovation" system on the web, which allows an outside investigator the opportunity to submit a masked compound for evaluation using Lilly's assays. All the IP stays in the researchers' hands while they get some insight on investing more time and money on a project.

The key here, says Lilly, was making it all very simple and easy to use, avoiding all the evaluations and small print associated with a formal review. "We had to make this as lean as possible," MaryJo Zaborowski, information officer for Lilly Research Laboratories, tells Information Week.

The way IW explains the process, both sides can get a snapshot on the compound's potential, triggering a possible second look and even a deal. But the odds aren't very good. In the past two years 400 academics have submitted compounds to the system. Lilly has done deals for two, with a third in the works. That's less than one in a hundred.

- here's the story from Information Week

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