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Greenwood sues over failed pharmaceutical facility

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Greenwood officials have filed a foreclosure lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company that failed to open after receiving $8.4 million from the city.

Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers says city officials had tried for months to help with talks involving possible investors in hopes of saving Elona Biotechnologies. Myers tells the Daily Journal in Franklin that no progress was being made.

City attorney Krista Taggart says the lawsuit asks for a Johnson County judge to appoint a receiver who would try to sell Elona's unfinished facility and equipment for making insulin.

The city loaned $6.4 million to help Elona build a new 50,000-square-foot, $28 million insulin production plant in Greenwood and hire 70 workers. The city also gave Elona $1.5 million to help it win approval for its insulin from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and $500,000 for equipment.

Elona was seen as a rising star, and Gov. Mike Pence even visited the company in March 2012 as part of his “jobs tour,” which was a key element of his gubernatorial campaign.

Elona told Greenwood officials of financial troubles in late January. In February, the company said that it had reached a deal under which the company would be acquired by private investors.

The company's founders didn't return messages, and its phone number is disconnected, according to the newspaper.

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