Chorus
Chorus was started as an experiment at Eli Lilly and Company in 2002. The founders of Chorus believed they could transform the traditional drug development process through a lean approach to generating clinical proof of concept data, and a 100% outsourcing model.

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The Chorus group got its start in 2002 as an alternative R&D pilot. The founders of Chorus believed they could transform the traditional drug development process through a lean approach to generating clinical proof of concept data with a more flexible virtual development model.

The premise was simple: get as many early-stage compounds to proof-of-concept (PoC) and value step-up as quickly and cost effectively as possible. Here’s how it’s done and why we are different:
  1. Minimize parallel processing before there’s a validated mechanism and viable drug candidate.
  2. Conduct focused Phase I and PoC studies that get to the key issues early.
  3. Implement the bulk of the actual work-product with a flexible, globally outsourced model.
  4. Conduct clinical trial and functional operations on a streamlined, biotech-like set of standard operating procedures and business processes.
  5. Staff a small in-house group with drug development experts.
  6. Empower the group by allowing them to manage their own budget.
  7. Make the group autonomous; have team members report up through Chorus only and not to functional groups.
  8. Employ VOICE©, a proprietary project management and collaboration software system, to bring together key information and foster collaboration in a secure, fire-walled environment.

Initially, to run the experiment, Lilly provided Chorus with a handful of drug candidates not in active development, along with limited personnel and funding. Within two years, Chorus provided Lilly with positive experimental biomarker PoC data for one of those molecules. Over time, other assets were directed to this group and Chorus was able to demonstrate a significant reduction in both the time and cost of drug development to PoC resulting in a 3-10 fold productivity enhancement over traditional pharmaceutical development. Based on these early successes demonstrating dramatic productivity improvements, Chorus has been repositioned and expanded by Lilly as an alternative Research and Development unit to move more molecules through their early phase pipeline. Chorus is now an important part of Lilly's FIPNet strategy (Fully Integrated Pharmaceutical Network), and manages a significant portion of Lilly’s early phase portfolio.

While Chorus has expanded over the years, it is still a very small organization. The dedicated Chorus staff consists of experienced drug developers with an average 18 years of experience. If you would like to find out more about Chorus or have specific questions, please feel free to email us by completing the information on the Contact Us page.