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Company news

March 24, 2014

A larger stock award boosted cash and stock payments to John Lechleiter, CEO of Eli Lilly and Co. in 2013, but overall compensation fell for the top executives of the Indianapolis-based drugmaker. Lechleiter was paid $11.22 million in salary, bonus, stock and perks, according to Lilly’s proxy statement filed Monday morning. That represented a 10-percent increase over his take of cash and stock in 2012. A rise in the value of Lechleiter’s pension boosted his 2012 total compensation more than $4.4 million, but his pension value remained flat in 2013 because Lilly raised the discount rate it used to calculate the present value of its pension liabilities. As a result, when pension values are included, Lechleiter’s total compensation actually fell 23 percent last year compared with the previous year. Smaller increases in pension values also depressed overall compensation of three other top executives at Lilly, ranging from as little as 1.5 percent for Jan Lundberg, president of Lilly Research Laboratories, to as much as 25 percent for Derica Rice, Lilly’s chief financial officer. When those actuarial fluctuations are excluded, compensation for those other executives remained flat from 2012 to 2013.

The stock price of West Lafayette-based Endocyte Inc. skyrocketed 92 percent Friday after the drug company got a thumbs up in Europe to market its first drug and received a new round of favorable clinical trial results. The drug, vintafolide, received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency to treat a small group of ovarian cancer patients who have tried other treatments. Assuming that opinion is followed by the European Commission, Endocyte and its partner Merck & Co. Inc. would begin selling the drug and its companion imaging agent later this year. The drug, which will be sold by Merck, has received the brand name of Vynfinit while the imaging agent will have the brand Folcepri, and will be sold by Endocyte. Also, West Lafayette-based Endocyte announced that vintafolide proved effective at treating non-small cell lung cancer in a Phase 2 trial. Patients receiving vintafolide and traditional chemotherapy agents had a 25-percent reduction in the risk of death or of their cancer worsening, compared with patients receiving only chemotherapy. The dual announcements, both released before the markets opened Friday, ignited investor interest. Endocyte’s shares closed at $28.17 on Friday, up from $14.64 the previous day.

A new master of public health program at the University of Indianapolis beginning this fall will prepare professionals to identify health disparities and develop community-based approaches to close the gaps. The two-year program will be conducted primarily online, and will ramp up to enroll more than 30 students. It will be the only one in Indiana focused on health disparities, which are the preventable differences in health among populations that can occur along lines of age, sex, ethnicity, geography and socioeconomic status. UIndy expects to develop other concentrations within the master of public health program as part of a broader expansion of its health sciences facilities, faculty and programs.

A European Medicines Agency panel recommended approval of a Type 2 diabetes drug from Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH and Eli Lilly and Co. that was delayed this month by U.S. regulators due to manufacturing deficiencies. The drug, empagliflozin, is expected to bring Indianapolis-based Lilly $519 million in annual revenue by 2019, according to an average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News. Empagliflozin would be sold under the brand name Jardiance, according to the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, whose recommendation must still be OK’d by the European Commission. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this month it wouldn’t approve the drug until Boehringer fixes problems disclosed in May after a 2012 inspection of a plant at the company’s headquarters in Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany.

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