With an eye fixed on Alzheimer’s, Lilly spins off neuroscience unit

Aug. 17, 2021

On a mission to win an Alzheimer’s approval, Eli Lilly has decided to create a new division devoted to neurosciences. 

This week, the company announced that it is breaking up its Bio-Medicines unit with two new divisions: one focused on neurosciences and another on immunology.  

At the moment, late-stage assets focused on pain and neurodegenerative diseases are lumped into a unit that also houses dermatology, gastroenterology and more. The split will allow Lilly to narrow and sharpen its focus in each indication area, which could be critical as the company prepares to file for approval of its Alzheimer’s drug, donanemab.

Anne White will leave her leadership post at Lilly Oncology and become the head of the new neuroscience unit — thus putting her in charge of navigating an approval for donanemab. The current CEO of Loxo Oncology, which Lilly scooped up for $8 billion, will become president of the oncology unit. And Patrik Jonsson, president of Lilly USA, will take the helm at the immunology unit.

Lilly plans to implement the new changes during the first week of September.