Company news

April 18, 2011

Physicians, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists and other medical workers would have to undergo a criminal background check when applying for a new state license under a bill approved Tuesday by an Indiana House of Representatives committee, according to the Associated Press. The House Public Health Committee voted 7-1 in favor of the bill, which would permit state boards to suspend, deny or revoke the licenses of people with criminal offenses determined to affect the person's ability to perform their duties. The Senate already has approved a version of the bill, which also would allow state boards to randomly select some seeking license renewals for criminal checks. Nearly 200,000 people are currently licensed or certified in one of the 20 professions specified in the bill. The bill allows action against a person's license if they've been convicted of various offenses, including illegal drug possession, fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance and sex crimes.

After two setbacks in the United States, Eli Lilly and Co. and Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. won the backing of European Union regulators for Bydureon, their once-weekly diabetes medicine. The London-based European Medicines Agency recommended Bydureon for approval in adults with Type 2 diabetes, according to a statement from the companies. The drug still must receive final approval from the European Commission. Bydureon is a long-acting version of Byetta, the twice-daily drug introduced by Indianapolis-based Lilly and San Diego-based Amylin in 2005. But Byetta has been losing sales to Denmark-based Novo Nordisk A/S's once-daily version of the medicine, Victoza, which has also been shown to be slightly more effective at reducing patients’ blood-sugar levels than Bydureon in a clinical trial. Lilly and Amylin had hoped to get Byrdureon approved a year ago. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration delayed a decision in the spring and then in October demanded a new study of Bydureon’s effects on patients’ hearts. Lilly and Amylin expect to resubmit Bydureon to the FDA in the second half of this year. Analysts expect sales of Bydureon to top $1 billion a year and perhaps even approach $2 billion. Byetta had sales last year of $710 million, while Victoza rang up $450 million.

Indianapolis-based NICO Corp. won approval to sell its Myriad surgical device in Europe, the company reported last week. NICO can now sell its minimally invasive brain-tumor-removal device in the 27 countries that constitute the European Union. The Myriad device has been for sale in the United States since 2009 and has been used in more than 1,000 procedures, involving both adults and children. About 2 million people worldwide are diagnosed each year with a brain tumor.