Company news

February 11, 2013

Indiana University Health Physicians added 39 doctors from the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the IU School of Medicine. The group was founded in 1958 and is consistently ranked as one of the top 20 programs nationally. IU Health Physicians now employs more than 1,000 doctors. The group, which also includes five nurse practitioners, offers care at IU Health University Hospital, Wishard Health Services and the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, and will soon expand to IU Health North and IU Health Saxony hospitals. They also see patients in satellite offices in Batesville, Carmel, Greenfield, Greensburg, Lebanon, Martinsville, McCordsville and Zionsville.

Elona Biotechnologies Inc., a drugmaker trying to launch a generic version of insulin, says it has found a solution to its default on more than $8 million in economic development loans and incentives from the city of Greenwood. Elona announced Feb. 6 that it has reached an agreement under which the company will be acquired by a group of private investors. It did not disclose the names of the investors or the amount of financing. "While terms of the transaction are confidential, Elona will receive sufficient funds to correct its default situation with the city of Greenwood, hire management and scientific talent to move the company forward, and proceed with clinical trials to support the registration of its generic human insulin under development for the treatment of diabetes," the company said in a prepared statement. An executive team of pharmaceutical industry veterans with extensive experience will join Elona as staff or consultants, the company said. The company told Greenwood officials of its financial troubles in late January. That information prompted the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission to vote to declare Elona in default on $8.4 million worth of economic development incentives the city approved for the company in 2010. The city loaned $6.4 million to help Elona build a 50,000-square-foot, $28 million insulin production plant in Greenwood and hire 70 workers. The city also gave Elona $1.5 million to help it win approval for its insulin from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and $500,000 for equipment.

Eli Lilly and Co. said it is halting testing of an experimental drug for rheumatoid arthritis because the studies show the medicine is not effective. The decision to stop testing the therapy, called tabalumab, in rheumatoid arthritis wasn’t based on safety concerns, the Indianapolis-based drugmaker said Feb. 7 in a prepared statement. Lilly said it will continue to develop the drug as a treatment for lupus. In December, Lilly said it was stopping one of three late-stage rheumatoid arthritis studies of tabalumab after it failed to provide a benefit. Lilly then analyzed the other two studies and determined the drug was unlikely to help patients. The setback comes as Lilly, counting on sales of new medicines to revive growth, faces generic competition to schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, which generated $5 billion in annual revenue before losing patent protection in October 2011.