Lilly commits $92.5 million to Purdue for drug research and scholarship

INDIANAPOLIS — In a major expansion of their long-standing collaboration, Eli Lilly and Co. are planning to award Purdue University $92.5 million for research into drug development and college scholarships for drug manufacturing.

The two institutions announced the gifts Thursday morning, saying the funding would expand a long-term partnership.

The research program is a $50 million investment over five years to develop new models for delivering treatments to patients, with a focus on genetic medicine, pain drug delivery, and targeted drug delivery using nanoparticles.

It is an extension of a previous five-year collaboration, announced in 2017, under which Lily Purdue was awarded $50 million to learn more about the physiology of drug delivery and to develop techniques to improve drug delivery for better patient outcomes.

The scholarship program awards full tuition fees to between 75 and 100 students each year for 10 years. The $42.5 million program will give priority to undergraduate students who are underrepresented in Purdue, who have overcome socioeconomic or educational disadvantages or are among the first generation in their families to enter college.

The first scholarships will be awarded in fall 2023. These scholarships will provide participating Lilly students with preferred access and opportunities to compete for a role at the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company upon graduation, the two organizations said.

“Lilly is among Purdue’s most important partners, and this latest commitment reaffirms our long-standing collaboration,” Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said in written notes. “…Lilly invests in students very early in their education rather than waiting until late in their college careers—to connect with students before they even get to campus.”

Bordeaux and Lily have a long standing relationship, with close ties between their senior leaders. Daniels worked as a senior executive at Lilly before serving eight years as the governor of Indiana.

Lilly’s CEO, David Rex, earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Purdue University in 1990. Today, Lilly employs nearly 2,500 graduates from Purdue, more than any other university.

For more information on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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