School Papers

Eli obtained a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry, he

Lilly and Company was founded in 1876 by Colonel Eli Lilly.4 Lilly
began manufacturing with a mere $1,400, three employees, and a small plant in
Indianapolis. 4 The company’s first major product was quinine, a
drug that treated malaria. Upon a boom and sales following its production, the
company began to expand into sales and in 1878, began national expansion. 5

            In its early years, the company focused
on manufacturing drugs for use by physicians in prescriptions, and innovating
drugs for ease of use by patients.  In
1901, the company was formally incorporated as Eli Lilly and Company.2 The company quickly transformed
into a familial dynasty, and when Colonel Lilly’s son Josiah obtained a degree
in pharmaceutical chemistry, he took over the role of president of the company.

            Eli Lilly’s first major success was
its manufacture and sale of Succus Alteran. The product was a treatment for a
variety of ailments such as syphilis, eczema, and psoriasis.5 For
its early years, the company focused solely on the manufacture of handmade,
natural products and did not engage in scientific research related to drug
discovery.5 However, in the early 1900’s the company expanded and
formed Lilly Biological Laboratories, which
initiated the brand’s research endeavors.

            During this time, the company made
many advances in both the innovation of production processes and the discovery
and production of new drugs. Their earliest developments included gelatin coating
on pills and flavor additives.5 Likewise, the company made monumental
strides in eliminating production errors and improving plant efficiency, acting
as a model for other companies in the industry.9 Eli Lilly has also
historically been a loud advocate for federal regulations on medication and
pharmaceutical research, production, testing, and distribution.5

            The early 1920’s were when the company’s nationwide
success first took off.  In 1922, El Lilly
and Company initiated a research collaborative with the University of Toronto
to launch a mass production and distribution of insulin. Iletin was the first
commercially available diabetes treatment in America. The success of Iletin
sparked the company’s nationwide success – many Nobel Prize scientists quickly
began sprouting out of the labs of Eli Lilly and their cooperatives. 11

            During World War II, Eli Lilly and
Company worked with the American Red Cross and the US Army to produce
penicillin. This involvement also led to the company’s global expansion. From
the 1950s onward, Eli Lilly continued to expand into its endeavors of drug
discovery, patenting historically famous drugs such as the antibiotic erythromycin,
and the leukemia drug Eldisine.4 Eli Lilly and Company has since
expanded from solely human health into areas of drug development such as animal
health and agrochemicals. 5