IBJNews

Lilly, Roche dive deep into diagnostics

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two Indianapolis giants—Eli Lilly and Co. and Roche Diagnostics—are working hard to pair up drugs and diagnostic tests to gin up more sales.

Lilly, which launched its own diagnostic division last month to focus on cancer and Alzheimer’s drugs, has also found a test that could help its slow-selling blood thinner, Effient.

Indianapolis-based Lilly said Monday that its sales reps will talk up to doctors a blood test made by a San Diego firm that measures the clotting ability of each patient’s blood after taking a blood thinner. From Lilly’s standpoint, the idea is to identify which patients aren’t benefiting from Effient’s main competitor, Plavix.

Plavix’s annual sales of $9.5 billion dwarf those of Effient—$35 million in its first nine months on the market. But studies have shown that genetic variations cause as many as 14 percent of Plavix patients to receive little or no anti-clotting benefit from the drug.

Both Effient and Plavix are given to patients who have had their arteries propped open through balloon angioplasties or stents.

The diagnostic blood test, made by Accumetrics Inc., costs about $60, according to The New York Times. That’s cheaper and faster than a genetic test that could determine which patients won’t respond well to Plavix.

"We believe physicians will want to know the specific effect of a patient's antiplatelet [blood thinning] therapy and whether additional measures may be needed," said Dr. Rogelio Braceras, senior medical director of thrombosis at Lilly's development partner on Effient, Japan-based Daiichi Sankyo Inc.

Switzerland-based Roche, which operates both drug and diagnostic businesses, is testing one of its diagnostic tests against traditional Pap smears to see which detects the precursor of cervical cancer earliest. Roche Diagnostics' U.S. headquarters is in Indianapolis.

On July 9, Roche announced results of a clinical trial that showed its test, the cobas 4800 HPV Test, said one in 10 women who had the precursor to cervical cancer, the human papillomavirus, did not test positive for cancer in a Pap smear.

Roche’s test could potentially help sales of its blockbuster cancer drug Avastin. The drug is approved to treat various forms of cancer, and recent studies have examined it as a possible treatment for cervical cancer. Doctors have freedom to prescribe it for any treatment regimen.

Expect a lot more of these efforts in the future. An October study by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the drug, device and diagnostic market at $24 billion a year and growing at 10 percent each of the next five years.

“This is kind of the next step,” said Tiffany Olson, Lilly’s vice president of diagnostics, in an interview at Lilly’s corporate headquarters south of downtown. “It’s making the promise actionable: right patient, right time, right dose."
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
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
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am also a "vet" of several Cirque shows and this one left me flat. It didn't have the amount of acrobatic stunts as the others that I have seen. I am still glad that I went to it and look forward to the next one but I put Varekai as my least favorite.

  2. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  3. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  4. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  5. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.

ADVERTISEMENT