Lilly Life Science Studio Automated Laboratory Goes Further in the Search For New Drugs

A laboratory designed as a physically and virtually connected ecosystem

  • by Ziath
  • August 6, 2021
  • Lilly Life Science Studio Automated Laboratory Goes Further in the Search For New Drugs
    Lilly Life Science Studio Automated Laboratory Goes Further in the Search For New Drugs

Located in San Diego, USA, L2S2 was designed as part of Lilly's Discovery Automation Research and Technology Group. It brings together a team of automation engineers and scientists to design, implement and operate a variety of innovative automation projects.

Devon Thompson Senior Research Fellow at Lilly said "Our Life Science Studio is exciting because it allows us to reduce cycle times, go faster on projects and ultimately bring the right drug to the right patient in a timely fashion."

Lilly research fellow James Beck said "A key component of this lab is the ability to track the data from the very beginning of the order, all the way through to the end." This is important, because according to James Beck "We generate annually roughly 15-20% of the entire Lilly compound collection that goes to biological screening."

Fully automated modules supervised by top-level automation planning software

Individual islands of automation covering compound synthesis, purification, analysis, and biological testing were brought together in a large laboratory space under the control of custom automation scheduling software and through a Magnamotion track. This process uses Ziath's 2D Cube barcode tube readers to identify and monitor the position of individual samples as they move through the L2S2 storage and processing modules. This sample management technique plays a major role in the L2S2 system's input-output module, where samples are received and retrieved.

Rick Robbins, the L2S2 Automation Group Leader, commented "The input-output module allows the operator to have one touchpoint to put samples on and take samples off the system. This is very important because we really want to do positive sample tracking of every sample that's moving on the system at any time." The use of 2D barcoded tubes and vials allows the Ziath Cube readers in L2S2 to track processed samples by communicating their individual ID numbers to the master scheduler from each workstation or touchpoint.

"This novel deployment of Ziath readers as part of a large-scale automated Drug Discovery laboratory is both exciting and yields huge productivity gains, pointing the way forward for many other drug discovery companies to go in future" declared Landon Diaz, General Manager of Ziath America.