Company news

April 1, 2013

Johnson & Johnson won approval for the first in a new family of diabetes drugs, giving the New Jersey-based drugmaker an edge over Eli Lilly and Co. and other rivals developing similar medicines. On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the drug, known as canagliflozin, to treat adults with Type 2 diabetes. It will be sold under the brand name Invokana and may generate as much as $800 million in annual sales, Tony Butler, an analyst at Barclays Plc in New York, told Bloomberg News. The drug is part of a class called SGLT2 inhibitors, which expel sugar in the urine after the kidneys filter it out of the blood. Similar drugs are being developed by Indianapolis-based Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and AstraZeneca plc.

Medical claims will rise more than 67 percent—the third-highest rate in the nation—for Indiana residents buying individual health insurance policies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, according to a study by the Society of Actuaries. The projected increase is partly due to sicker people joining the insurance pool. The study says most states will see increases, and assumes every state will expand its Medicaid program, but that's uncertain in Indiana. The Obama administration says the study ignores subsidies to help with premiums. Middle-class households can buy subsidized insurance in new marketplaces Oct. 1. The report doesn't cover employer plans.

Dow AgroSciences LLC will formally open a 175,000-square-foot building on April 10, which will be home to 200 researchers working on plant biotechnology. Dow AgroSciences first announced the $340 million expansion in March 2010, saying it would lead to an additional 577 high-paying jobs over the following five years. The company, which is a subsidiary of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., said most of the positions would pay $65,000 to $95,000 annually. Dow AgroSciences had sales last year of $6.4 billion, and produced earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization of $977 million.