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Eli Lilly Quietly Invests in Technology to Harness Human-Cell Messaging

  • Company is hiring and scouring for deals in emerging field
  • Updates to drug pipeline detailed at investor day in New York
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For the past three years, Eli Lilly & Co. has been quietly watching and investing in technologies that harness the messaging power of cells in hopes that it could lead to new medicines.

One-fifth of the company’s pipeline is composed of drug candidates that are based on nucleic acids like RNA or DNA, the information-carrying part of cells. While consumers have heard much about how messenger RNA in Covid-19 vaccines is used to prime the body to ward off infection, Lilly wants to use these new technologies to target cardiovascular and brain diseases.