US-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly have announced that they will close their research and development centre at Erl Wood in Surrey and move associated neuroscience research to the US, with 80 potential redundancies.
The company indicated that the closure was a result of a global review of its research operations and not with issues surrounding Brexit, the UK’s split from the European Union.
Commenting on the announcement, UK DRI Director, Bart De Strooper, said:
“This news is a blow to UK neuroscience, and our search for dementia therapies. Our success in treating these diseases requires close collaboration with industry to drive innovation and translate discoveries from basic research to the clinic. We hope that the loss of the UK site won’t reduce the opportunity to work together to combat dementia.
I also want to reassure all the people affected by dementia that we are working hard to help that despite this closure, the UK DRI is committed to expanding dementia research in the UK. In two years we have built a dementia research team of 350 and we’re adding more great scientists every month.”
Eli Lilly’s Chief Medical Officer, Tim Garnett, told the Basingstoke Gazette:
"I know that this proposal will be difficult news for many working for Lilly in the UK. Our dedicated teams have delivered world-class research from Erl Wood for the last 50 years. They are some of the most talented people in the industry and this proposal is not a reflection on their hard work or skill.”