Lilly enters collaboration deal with Swiss company

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Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. has signed a deal with Swiss company Synthes Inc. to co-promote the bone drug Forteo and develop other potential orthopedic treatments. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lilly, based in Indianapolis, said Thursday it will license some early-stage or pre-clinical compounds to Synthes for that company to develop and possibly sell. The companies also will team to study an additional use for Forteo in fracture healing.

Forteo is approved to help build new bone in osteoporosis patients. It generated $216.1 million in sales during the first quarter.

Lilly and Synthes also will co-promote Forteo to U.S. orthopedic surgeons, who treat patients with fractures due to osteoporosis.

Synthes specializes in developing and selling instruments, implants and biomaterials to fix bone and soft tissues. U.S. prosecutors in Philadelphia are seeking prison time for some former Synthes executives who have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors tied to allegations that company representatives pushed a bone-cement product for an unapproved use.

Lilly spokeswoman Tammy Hull noted that the executives are no longer with the company and Lilly was excited about working with Synthes.

Lilly shares rose 49 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $37.76 each in afternoon trading.

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