Lilly has signed a multi-year extension of its contract with Shanghai-based research and development outsourcing company ShangPharma.
The pharma company is ShangPharma's largest customer, accounting for 21 per cent of its 2010 revenue, and the CRO has opened a new facility just to meet Lilly's growing needs.
William Dai, ShangPharma's chief financial officer, said: "The opening of this state of the art facility gives us the capacity to expand our operations and better meet Lilly's growing demand. We expect to achieve high utilisation of the new facility from day one."
The new facility adds 110,000 square feet of laboratory and office space to the company's overall capacity and will be fully dedicated to supporting Lilly's ongoing and future projects.
"We are delighted to extend and deepen our highly productive relationship with Lilly," said Michael Xin Hui, founder and CEO of ShangPharma.
"Renewing our agreement to serve as a key support partner for Lilly's discovery services is a clear indication that international pharmaceutical companies appreciate the high quality of ShangPharma's team and the excellence of our R&D capability.
“Our focus on building trust with companies through years of cooperation helps ShangPharma better understand our customers' needs and exceed their expectations."
China's pharmaceutical market climbed in value from $36.6bn in 2008 to $46bn in 2010 and companies are increasingly looking to align themselves with it.
Last month Merck & Co joined the ranks of pharma companies setting up R&D locations in China, signally its intention to set up a drug discovery and development facility in Beijing as part of a $1.5bn investment programme.