Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) has opened its first shared innovation lab in US city San Francisco to advance the discovery of innovative medicines through collaboration with local biotech companies.

The new facility, dubbed Lilly Gateway Labs, is set to provide the companies with direct access to Lilly scientists, team members and executives, along with exposure to its scientific and functional expertise.

Eli Lilly and Company chief scientific officer and Lilly Research Laboratories president Dan Skovronsky said: “Lilly is making this investment to help speed the discovery of medicines.

“This model will enable scientists to do what they do best, in an environment that fosters scientific breakthrough. We’re excited to see how it will impact our ability to deliver new solutions for patients.”

Lilly Gateway Labs will provide 32 advanced private lab modules

Lilly said that companies working in Lilly Gateway Labs will be provided with an opportunity to partner in its projects, participate in shared learning forums with its experts and partners, and receive financial investment from Lilly and venture funds.

Covering an area of 65,000ft², Lilly Gateway Labs will provide 32 advanced private lab modules — with lab space for six to eight scientists — office space, and work stations.

The company has designed the facility to have open areas for collaboration, conferences and programming at the site, along with the broader Bay Area scientific community.

Lilly said that it has selected the Bay Area as the location for its Lilly Gateway Labs for many reasons, including the ability to tap into the existing biotech innovation environment in the area.

Also, the company intends to further extend its footprint in California, leveraging the supportive scientific environment for drug discovery.

California Business Roundtable president and CEO Rob Lapsley said: “Healthcare is the fastest-growing sector of California’s economy and Lilly Gateway Labs brings exciting opportunities for partnerships and innovation in drug research and development in South San Francisco that will help lead to groundbreaking therapies and improved patient care.

“California’s life sciences industry is one of the nation’s — and the world’s — leading life sciences hubs, and we look forward to their leadership in South San Francisco to grow new companies and jobs into the future.”