Jubilant Organosys and Eli Lilly and Company have entered into an agreement to form an equally-owned joint venture in India that will focus on providing drug development services exclusively to Jubilant- and Lilly-partnered molecules.

Both the companies will be investing 8 million dollars in the next three years to take up new drug discovery till the phase-II clinical trials and have identified some molecules in the therapeutic areas of diabetes, oncology and cardiovascular diseases to begin with. Both the companies signed the agreement here on October 3.

The joint venture is to be modelled after Lilly's early-stage development division, Chorus, which provides fast and capable drug development for Lilly exclusively through the utilization of external contract companies. The joint venture, to be based in Bangalore, is expected to begin operations this year itself. The joint venture will be managed by an independent team of drug development experts and will focus on preclinical molecules and their development through phase-II clinical testing, before returning successful assets to the sponsors for further development.

Jubilant chairman Shyam S Bhartia and co-chairman Hari S Bhartia said “We are very pleased to expand our collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company from discovery to clinical development, leveraging India's emerging clinical capabilities. As in our discovery collaboration, we believe this unique partnership will be a pioneering effort in leveraging the expertise of a global pharmaceutical company like Lilly with the emerging development capabilities of Jubilant, in accelerating drug development to provide patients with affordable health care in areas of unmet medical needs.”