Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly is opening a new diabetes research centre in Shanghai next year. The research centre, which is expected to employ around 100 scientists and support staff, is being set up in China because of the increasing prevalence of diabetes in the country.
It is thought that there about 92 million people suffering from diabetes in China, nearly 10 per cent of the adult population, which is expected to increase significantly over the next few years. Dietary changes, longer life expectancy and lack of physical exercise are the main reasons behind this.
David Moller, head of endocrine and cardiovascular research and clinical investigation at Lilly, commented that “given key differences in the molecular basis of diabetes in Chinese and other Asian populations, a major focus at this centre will be on discovering therapies that target critical aspects of the disease.”
Jan Lundberg, president of Lilly Research Laboratories, said that the facility “will complement our existing network of collaborations in China and also will enable us to further gain the insights of China’s talented scientists inside and outside of Lilly.”
Since the late 1990s, Lilly have invested over almost USD300 million in China, has launched a venture capital fund for the Chinese biopharmaceutical sector, and also co-operated with the China Diabetes Society and the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes in collaborative programmes between Chinese and European academic and research facilities.

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