Eli Lilly and Company marks 140 years of caring and discovery


Contributions to global health include insulin, penicillin, polio vaccine; continues quest for potential new medicinesEli Lilly and Company will commemorate its 140th anniversary today with activities at Lilly locations worldwide, including a ceremony to unveil a statue dedicated to founder Colonel Eli Lilly at global headquarters in Indianapolis.

Over 14 decades, the organization has contributed more than 100 medicines and significant medical advances, such as the first commercially available insulin, manufacturing and global distribution of the Salk polio vaccine and mental health breakthroughs such as anti-depressant Prozacâ (fluoxetine). Today Lilly continues to progress its most robust pipeline in history with dozens of potential new medicines in mid- to late-stage development for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, pain and Alzheimer's disease.

"As Lilly celebrates 140 years, we're keeping the vision of our founder alive - from our dedication in the lab to our impact in the community," said John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Lilly chairman, president and chief executive officer, who began his career at Lilly as a chemist in 1979. "Colonel Eli Lilly started this company to put science to work fighting disease and encouraged his successors to 'take what you find here and make it better and better.' That vision pushes us daily to honor Colonel Lilly's legacy and continue in our quest to discover new medicines to help make life better."

Lilly is committed to making life better by lending expertise and partnering with organizations around the world to help ease pressing global health problems, including tuberculosis, non-communicable diseases and hunger. Through its Connecting Hearts Abroad program, which began in 2011, Lilly has sent nearly 1,000 employees to address urgent health and social challenges in under-served communities around the world. Lilly employees also volunteer locally to improve the communities where they live and work. Over the last eight years, Lilly employees in 70 countries have given more than 725,000 hours during the company's annual Global Day of Service, one of the largest single-day corporate programs in the United States.

Lilly has a long history of philanthropic giving initiated by Colonel Lilly and the Lilly family. For example, in 1968, the Eli Lilly Company Foundation was established and currently donates nearly $30 million annually to charitable causes. Lilly also has a longstanding relationship with United Way dating back more than 100 years to the time when Colonel Lilly's son J.K. Lilly served as a member of the War Chest, a precursor to today's United Way. Since then, Lilly and its employees have given more than $250 million to United Way.

To learn how the people of Lilly turn inspiration into action every day, visit

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and C-LLY