Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY)’s animal health unit, Elanco Animal Health, has announced that a positive opinion has been adopted by the EMA – European Medicine Agency, recommending that marketing authorization be granted to grapiprant tablets. After the positive opinion the next step is completing the regulatory process before a final decision can be made earlier next year.
Grapiprant is an indication for treating pain resulting from osteoarthritis that affects dogs. Currently the exclusive global rights of developing, manufacturing, marketing and commercializing the drug lie with Elanco Animal Health. In the U.S., Elanco co-promotes Grapiprant in conjunction with Aratana.
The development comes in the wake of Elanco Animal Health’s parent company, Eli Lilly, indicating that its plans to lay off 3,500 employees in order to save $0.5 billion a year is on track. So far about 2,300 employees have accepted to retire voluntarily. According to Mark Taylor, a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly is still in the process of figuring ou where costs can be reduced further as well as the areas where the efficiency levels can be improved.
“Remaining positions will come from other anticipated workforce reductions, including select site closures … as well as consolidation of some work to existing shared service centers,” said Taylor.
Eli Lilly had previously indicated that its Shanghai and New Jersey research sites would be shuttered. The pharmaceutical giant had also previously said that it animal health manufacturing facilities would be moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa from Larchwood, Iowa.
This is the first major restructuring move initiated by David Ricks, the new chief executive officer of Eli Lilly. The drug giant is facing intense competition in its diabetes business and is consequently looking for new drugs that can turn around the situation. Taltz, an entrant for psoriaris, has so far shown promise. The drug giant also has high hopes in Verzenio, a drug used for treating breast cancer and which was approved two months ago.
In his short tenure Ricks has also shaken up the management team by poaching from rival drug makers.
On Friday shares of Eli Lilly and Co fell by 0.83% to close the day at $83.29.