Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) has announced a new institute for Genetic Medicine and an investment of around $700m to build a new facility at the Boston Seaport site.

The investment is part of the company’s strategy to advance RNA-based therapeutics.

It builds on Lilly’s acquisition and rapid expansion of Prevail Therapeutics, a New York-based gene therapy company, in 2020.

Researchers from both New York and Boston will use advanced RNA and DNA-based technologies, to jointly develop therapies for diseases that are otherwise challenging to treat, said Lilly.

Lilly genetic medicine vice president Andrew Adams said: “Establishing the Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine will allow us to pair cutting-edge technologies with our deep biological expertise in several areas including neuroscience and diabetes.

“Lilly will focus on medicines acting at the nucleic acid level to advance an entirely new class that target the root cause of diseases, an approach that is fundamentally different than medicines available today.”

Through the new institute, Lilly aims to advance the development of genetic medicines, which form more than 20% of its diabetes, immunology, and CNS portfolio.

The company expects the Boston site to grow from 120 to more than 250 research biologists, chemists, data scientists and other experts in genetic medicine, in five years.

Also, it anticipates the New York site to include up to 200 scientists on Lilly’s payroll.

The new institute will be based in 334,000ft2 leased space in a 12-storey building, in the Seaport district of Boston.

Its occupancy is planned for 2024 and is expected to create as many as 150 additional new jobs once the space is fully occupied.

In addition, the new site would also host a shared space, similar to Lilly Gateway Labs in San Francisco, to support biotech start-ups in the Boston area.

The shared space is designed to provide dedicated and configurable lab and office space, access to Lilly scientists, and opportunities for collaboration.

Prevail Therapeutics at Lilly CEO Franz Hefti said: “The Institute will enhance our efforts on neurodegenerative diseases and integrate Lilly’s genetic medicine research and platforms with the goal of advancing promising and potentially life-altering new medicines from the lab to clinical studies and ultimately to patients.

“We look forward to working with hundreds of scientists and researchers who share a common goal, to create and develop innovative genetic medicines that make life better for people around the world.”