Sector News

FTC puts conditions on Eli Lilly’s proposed acquisition of Novartis Animal Health

December 26, 2014
Life sciences
US pharma major Eli Lilly has agreed to divest its Sentinel product line of medications for treating heartworm disease in dogs in order to settle US Federal Trade Commission charges that its proposed acquisition of Novartis Animal Health from Swiss drugs giant Novartis would likely be anticompetitive.
 
Earlier this year, Novartis has agreed to divest its Animal Health Division to Lilly for around $5.4 billion (The Pharma Letter April 22). Under the proposed settlement, Eli Lilly will divest its Sentinel product line and associated assets to the French pharmaceutical company, Virbac SA.
 
Eli Lilly, through its Elanco Animal Health division, and the Novartis Animal Health business unit both develop and market a wide range of animal health products, including medications to treat diseases and conditions affecting pets and livestock.
 
The FTC’s complaint challenging the transaction alleges that the proposed acquisition would be anticompetitive and lead to higher prices. Canine heartworm parasiticides are used to treat heartworm disease in dogs and are available in a variety of formulations, some of which are given orally while others are applied to a dog’s skin or injected.
 
Trifexis and Sentinel products close substitutes
 
According to the complaint, Eli Lilly’s Trifexis and Novartis Animal Health’s Sentinel products are particularly close substitutes because they are the only two products that are given orally once a month, contain the same active ingredient, and also treat fleas and other internal parasites in dogs.
 
The complaint alleges that, without the divestitures required by the proposed order, the transaction would have eliminated the close competition between Eli Lilly and Novartis Animal Health and substantially decreased competition in the market for canine heartworm parasiticides. Also, any other company seeking to enter the canine heartworm parasiticide market would face high barriers, because developing new animal health pharmaceutical products – including those that treat heartworm in dogs – is difficult and time-consuming, the complaint alleges.
 
The Commission vote to accept the complaint and proposed consent order for public comment was 5-0.
 

Related News

September 25, 2020

Novo Nordisk tees up phase 3 trial for once-weekly insulin

Life sciences

People with Type 2 diabetes are no strangers to needles, with some injecting bolus insulin after meals, others injecting basal insulin once or twice a day, and others still doing […]

September 23, 2020

Novartis, Siemens to develop blood tests for multiple sclerosis

Life sciences

Siemens Healthineers has inked what it describes as a “master collaboration agreement” with Novartis to help provide diagnostic tests linked to therapies across the drugmaker’s pipeline. To start, the companies […]

September 22, 2020

GSK’s Zejula and AZ’s Lynparza leap toward broader EU approval

Life sciences

GlaxoSmithKline’s Zejula and AstraZeneca’s Lynparza have both moved towards EU approval in new indications after receiving positive opinions from the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human […]