Lilly establishes Institute for Genetic Medicine, invests in Boston Seaport site

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

February 23, 2022 -- Eli Lilly has launched the Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine and invested approximately $700 million to establish a state-of-the-art facility at a new site in the Boston Seaport district. This investment falls in line with the company's strategy to advance RNA-based therapeutics.

The investment builds on the 2020 acquisition and rapid expansion of Prevail Therapeutics, a gene therapy pioneer based in New York City. Working together, researchers in Boston and New York will leverage promising RNA and DNA-based technologies to develop therapies with the potential to treat or prevent diseases in a manner that is challenging or not possible with traditional medicines.

Through the work of the institute, Lilly intends to further the development of genetic medicines, which already accounts for more than 20% of Lilly's diabetes, immunology, and central nervous system research portfolio, the company said. Within five years, Lilly projects the Boston site will grow from 120 to more than 250 research biologists, chemists, data scientists, and other experts in genetic medicine, while the New York site will grow to include up to 200 scientists, all employed by Lilly.

The institute will be headquartered in 334,000 sq ft of leased space in a 12-story building, developed and operated by Alexandria Real Estate Equities in the rapidly expanding Boston Seaport district. Occupancy of the new site is scheduled for 2024.

The site will also include a shared space, modeled after Lilly Gateway Labs in San Francisco, to support biotech startups in Boston. This space will provide dedicated and configurable lab and office space, access to Lilly scientists, and opportunities for collaboration. These companies are expected to create as many as 150 additional new jobs once the space is fully occupied.

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