US-based Eli Lilly and Company has entered a multi-year collaboration agreement with Harvard Medical School principal teaching affiliate Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to advance the development of novel cancer treatments.

Under the three-year agreement, Dana-Farber will offer research and development expertise for multiple early-stage Lilly oncology compounds.

Dana-Farber researchers and Lilly scientists will work together on preclinical and clinical studies and molecular studies of patient samples, in addition to participating in the design and conduct of clinical trials.

Lilly Oncology product development and medical affairs senior vice-president Dr Richard Gaynor said: "Lilly’s partnership with Dana-Farber demonstrates an open, collaborative research approach, uniting the expertise of the pharmaceutical industry with that of a leading academic cancer research institution."

The deal will also allow Dana-Farber scientists to carry out independent studies on select Lilly compounds.

"Lilly can access the expertise within Dana-Farber to help it develop multiple preclinical and clinical compounds."

Eli Lilly said that evaluated compounds will still be fully owned by the company, following research conducted at Dana-Farber.

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Dana-Farber chief scientific officer Dr Barrett Rollins said: "Under this agreement, Lilly can access the expertise within Dana-Farber to help it develop multiple preclinical and clinical compounds."

Eli Lilly has also partnered with Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) to co develop an investigational oncology compound, LY3023414, a PI3K/mTOR dual inhibitor.

Under the deal, SCRI will offer clinical development expertise and programme design, medical oversight and trial management to Eli Lilly.

Currently, patient enrolment for the initial Phase II clinical trial is underway for the compound.

Image: Eli Lilly headquarters. Photo: courtesy of Guanaco152003.