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Company news

June 13, 2011

Eli Lilly and Co. is getting into orthopedics. The Indianapolis-based drugmaker signed a deal with Swiss company Synthes Inc. to co-promote the bone drug Forteo to orthopedic surgeons and to license some experimental drugs to Synthes. The companies also will team up to study an additional use for Forteo in fracture healing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Synthes specializes in developing and selling instruments, implants and biomaterials to fix bone and soft tissues. It has agreed to sell itself to New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson for $21 billion. In a separate development, Lilly won the first round in a court battle with another development partner, San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. A federal judge rejected Amylin’s claim that, if Lilly uses the same sales force to sell Byetta, a diabetes medicine made by Amylin, and Tradjenta, a diabetes pill made by Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, it would be anti-competitive. Amylin promised to appeal.

Three weeks after the CEO of Riley Hospital for Children resigned, his right-hand man announced his departure, too. Brett D. Lee, the chief operating officer at Riley, announced his plans June 8 to leave the Indianapolis hospital for a new job in Atlanta. His last day will be July 6. It’s not clear if Lee’s departure is connected to the May 20 resignation of Dan Fink, who had been CEO of Riley for about two years. Fink was replaced as CEO on an interim basis by Marilyn Cox, Riley’s chief nursing officer. Lee was considered a rising star at Riley, which is part of the Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health hospital system. Less than a year after being hired by Riley in April 2010, Lee was named the young health care executive of the year by the American College of Healthcare Executives, in part for his work applying Six Sigma and lean-process methods to the health care environment. Lee will become senior vice president of clinical operations at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the nation’s largest provider of pediatric care. It has three free-standing hospitals, with a total of 520 beds, as well as 17 outpatient facilities throughout the Atlanta metro area.

Carmel-based Woll Enterprises Inc. has won a contract to commercialize three medical products invented by two Florida physicians. Dr. Nevenka Horvat and Dr. Branimir Horvat, of Sarasota, Fla., have developed a medication for relief from psoriasis and eczema; a placental blood extractor; and a sequential lymphedema pump for removing excess fluid from swollen limbs. Woll Enterprises will try to locate funding to move the products toward market approval.
 
Dow AgroSciences LLC announced a deal to purchase assets from Iowa-based Sansgaard Seed Farms Inc. Indianapolis-based Dow Agro will receive rights to Sansaard’s Praide Brand Seed brand, as well as other marketing assets, land, buildings and equipment. Sansgaard’s Iowa headquarters and staff will remain intact. But now Dow Agro will market its corn and soybean seeds under the Prairie Brand name. Dow has made several acquisitions of seed distributors in the past three years to build a distribution network for its SmartStax genetically engineered seed, as well as future innovations, like its Enlist Weed Control System for corn and soybeans. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nyhart, an Indianapolis-based actuarial and employee-benefits consulting firm, has acquired Atlanta-based Stanley, Holcombe & Associates, which focused on public pensions and defined-benefit retirement consulting. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Nyhart will keep the existing Atlanta office space as well as retain the entire Atlanta staff. The deal gives Nyhart a base of retirement clients that have more than $14 billion in plan assets.In December, Nyhart announced the purchase of the Kansas City, Mo., operations of retirement consultancy Alliance Benefit Group.

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