Down on luck, Lilly finds comfort in pets

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Eli Lilly and Co. continues to misfire on getting new human medicines approved, but its animal health unit is on a roll.

Elanco, based in Greenfield, has introduced three products in just the last month, two of which come in its fast-growing companion animal (read: pets) business line.

On Monday, Elanco unveiled Trifexis—a monthly chewable tablet for dogs that kills fleas as well as hookworm, roundworm and whipworm. The extra parasite-killing power sets it apart from the flea tablet Comfortis, which Elanco launched in 2007.

Earlier this month, Elanco launched Assurity, a topical flea treatment for cats. And in December, Elanco launched Keto-Test, a strip test for dairy cows in the United States that detects elevated ketone levels, which can lead to lost milk production and impaired reproduction.

Elanco’s sales grew 13 percent last year through the end of September, the most recent data available, putting the unit on pace for revenue of about $1.36 billion in 2010.

Overall, Indianapolis-based Lilly’s revenue grew 6 percent through September of last year, to a total of $16.9 billion. Lilly will announce its 2010 financial results on Jan. 27.

Meanwhile, Lilly’s human medicines keep getting smacked down by U.S. regulators. On Tuesday, staff at the Food and Drug Administration balked at Lilly’s experimental drug to help identify plaque in the brain tied to Alzheimer’s disease, saying it hasn’t been shown to be clinically useful.

A panel of outside medical experts will discuss the drug, known as florbetapir, on Jan. 20 and issue a non-binding recommendation on whether it should be approved for market or not. The FDA is scheduled to make a decision on the drug application by March 17, according to the report.

Lilly acquired florbetapir in December by paying $300 million, and promising up to $500 million more, to Philadelphia-based Avid Radiopharmaceuticals. Avid has proposed to market the drug under the brand name Amyvid for use in patients undergoing PET scans, also known as positron emission tomography.

Also, last week, an FDA advisory panel voted that Lilly's experimental drug Solpura has not shown benefits that outweigh its risks in patients with cystic fibrosis or other digestion impairments. Lilly picked up Solpura last year by acquiring Massachusetts-based Alnara Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $180 million, with as much $200 million in later payments.

Lilly needs new drugs on the market to replace five of its bestsellers that are losing patent protection between 2010 and 2013. Generic copies of those drugs stand to drain Lilly of nearly half its current revenue.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...