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J&J completes sale of animal-drug business to Lilly

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Janssen Pharmaceutica said Thursday it has completed the sale of its animal health business to Eli Lilly and Co. Inc.

The agreement was previously announced in March. Details of the transaction, which covers operations in 11 countries, were not disclosed.

Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson company, is based in Belgium and has a mostly European-focused animal health business that targets diseases in pets and livestock, specializing in swine and poultry. Lilly's Elanco division is expected to gain 50 new animal products from the transaction.

Lilly has targeted the animal health market as a key growth area over the next several years, as the drugmaker deals with a wave of patent expirations that will expose some of its top-selling drugs to generic competition. The Indianapolis company also has touted its pipeline of potential drugs under development and sales in emerging markets as other key growth outlets.

Lilly loses U.S. patent protection for its top-selling drug, the antipsychotic Zyprexa, later this year. Zyprexa sales topped $5 billion last year.

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