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Novartis Animal Health to get new owner

Novartis is selling its animal health business to Eli Lilly.
Novartis is selling its animal health business to Eli Lilly.Marc Selinger

Swiss drug maker Novartis announced April 22 that it plans to sell its animal health division to another pharmaceutical firm, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co., so it can focus on other business areas.

Lilly said the acquisition would complement its existing animal health unit, Elanco. Novartis cat products include Capstar flea treatment and Onsior pain medicine, while Elanco makes Comfortis flea tablets.

“Lilly will acquire Novartis Animal Health's nine manufacturing sites, six dedicated research and development facilities, a global commercial infrastructure with a portfolio of approximately 600 products, a robust pipeline with more than 40 projects in development, and an experienced team of more than 3,000 employees,” Lilly said. “Combining these two great companies will enable us to provide more diversified brands, reach more market segments, expand our global footprint, and strengthen our pipeline, capabilities and expertise.”

No changes to existing cat products are planned, said Elanco spokeswoman Colleen Parr Dekker.

If approved by regulators, the $5.4 billion deal is expected to take effect by the first quarter of 2015.

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