Company news

August 12, 2013

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co., already the promoter of the leading anti-impotence pill Cialis, will now try to speed up development of a drug to treat premature ejaculation. Canada-based TVM Life Sciences Ventures VII, which manages funds supplied by Lilly, invested in Ixchelsis Ltd., a new company created in the United Kingdom to develop the experimental drug, which is called IX-01. The drug was originally discovered at a research facility in the United Kingdom operated by New York-based Pfizer Inc., the company that brought the anti-impotence pill Viagra to market. Lilly’s Chorus unit will oversee development of the drug to determine if its proposed concept of action appears to work. “TVM’s strategic relationship with Lilly enables its project-focused companies, like Ixchelsis, to reach clinical proof of concept efficiently and cost-effectively,” said Darren Carroll, Lilly’s vice president of corporate business development, in a prepared statement. If and when the drug’s proof-of-concept is verified, Lilly will have the option to acquire the drug for further development. Lilly and TVM estimate that as many as 30 percent of men worldwide suffer from premature ejaculation.

Warsaw-based Zimmer Holdings Inc., which lost a February trial against Stryker Corp. over a surgical device, was told to pay more than $228 million—three times the jury award plus other costs—and stop selling certain products. According to Bloomberg News, the increase in the jury award was appropriate because Zimmer intentionally infringed Stryker patents to build its business for pulsed lavage, a technique that removes damaged tissue and cleans bones during joint-replacement surgery, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker said in an order issued Wednesday. He also ordered Zimmer to stop selling its Pulsavac Plus device. A federal jury in Grand Rapids, Mich., in February sided with Stryker and awarded $70 million in damages. The dispute is over devices that use pulsing liquid, such as water or saline solution, to loosen debris from a surgical site and remove it by suction. The $228 million figure is more than the second-quarter profit for either company. Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker reported $213 million in earnings on sales of $2.2 billion. Zimmer, based in Warsaw, reported $152 million in earnings on $1.2 billion in sales.

Three months after the recall of its Zilver PTX stent to prop open peripheral arteries, Bloomington-based Cook Medical Inc. put the device back on the market around the globe, according to MassDevice.com, an industry trade publication. Cook voluntarily recalled the stents in April after getting reports of one patient death and one injury when the equipment that delivers the stent into patients broke off during surgery. In late May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration slapped its “deadly” warning on Cook’s recall of its stent, which props open arteries in the legs and arms to prevent serious blood clots. Millenium Research Group has estimated that Cook derives $2,750 from each Zilver stent it sells in the United States. Since it first hit foreign markets in 2009, the Zilver stent has been deployed in more than 30,000 patients, according to data from Cook. The Zilver, which is the first stent covered with an inflammation-reducing drug, was introduced to the U.S. market in December 2012. The Zilver recall did not affect stents that were already placed in patients.