Company news

July 8, 2013

Eli Lilly and Co. and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH submitted their long-acting insulin for market approval in Europe, using the pathway for generic biotech, or biosimilar, drugs. If approved, the drug, known as insulin glargine, would finally allow Indianapolis-based Lilly to catch up with competitors Sanofi-Aventis SA and Novo Nordisk N/A in offering a once-a-day insulin for diabetics. France-based Sanofi launched the first long-acting insulin, Lantus, in 2000. Denmark-based Novo followed with its own version, Levemir, in 2004. Analysts predict sales of Lilly’s insulin glargine could top $1 billion by 2020, with some of that revenue flowing to Germany-based Boehringer.

The federal Medicare issued a mostly negative reimbursement proposal for Eli Lilly and Co.’s Amyvid imaging agent for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in living patients. According to Bloomberg News, the federal health plan for seniors will pay for the brain scans using Lilly’s drug only for patients participating in approved clinical studies. The $3,000 test, approved last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, identifies clusters of the brain protein amyloid, which is an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, such protein clusters could be viewed only during an autoposy. The ruling is an unexpected setback for Amyvid after European Union regulators endorsed it in January. Lilly paid $300 million in 2010 to acquire the drug and its developer, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc.

The private equity firms that own Warsaw-based Biomet Inc. want their money back, according to the Financial Times. They are considering relisting the maker of orthopedic implants as a public company or selling it whole to other investors, the London newspaper reported, citing three unnamed sources. Biomet was purchased in 2007 for $11.4 billion by four private equity firms: Blackstone, KKR, TPG and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs. The volume of hip and knee surgeries has declined since Biomet was purchased, but Biomet’s financial performance has improved, anyway. The company concluded its most recent fiscal year with $3 billion in sales and $946 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Still, the Financial Times says current stock prices for Biomet’s competitors suggest the company may have a value of $8 billion—less than what its owners paid for it.

Major Health Partners will decide in the next six months whether to spend $23 million to maintain its existing hospital in downtown Shelbyville or spend $100 million to build a new hospital in the Intelliplex business park north of town. According to the Shelbyville News, Major Health Partners has been gradually moving to Intelliplex since 2005, opening outpatient centers focused on oncology, orthopedics, cardiology and obstetrics. Now hospital officials have drawn up tentative plans to build a 240,000-square-foot facility in Intelliplex. Major officials also said they could build a “shell” facility at Intelliplex and then add services there, while maintaining its existing, 61-bed hospital. “At some point, we will have to move, but when do we pull the trigger? That is the tough question," Major CEO Jack Horner told the Shelbyville News. Major, which is owned by the city of Shelbyville, will hold community forums before making a decision.

Indiana University Health lost a four-month battle to convince the Illinois Medicaid program to pay for a multi-organ transplant for two patients. The surgeries were expected to cost more than $1 million each, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, yet no hospitals in Illinois are capable of performing them. That’s why the two patients, a 32-year-old woman and a 67-year-old woman, came to IU Health in Indianapolis. An ethics panel called the procedures, which IU Health’s surgeons have performed 38 times, experimental. Also, the Illinois Medicaid program cited a dearth of resources in declining to cover the procedures.