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Lilly’s Elanco/Aratana’s Veterinary Medicine Gets EU Nod


Eli Lilly and Company's LLY animal health subsidiary, Elanco, and partner Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. PETX have together announced that their veterinary medicine, Galliprant (grapiprant tablets), has been granted a marketing authorization in the EU for the treatment of pain associated with mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA) in dogs.

Notably, OA is incurable and is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in dogs. However, if diagnosed early, the pain and inflammation can be controlled, enabling the arthritic dogs to lead an improved quality of life.

The drug was approved in the United States in March 2016 for the aforementioned indication and subsequently, launched last January. This is the first piprant approved for use in the United States for once-daily use in dogs with OA. Also, it can be administered to patients as young as nine months.

Shares of Lilly have underperformed the industry in a year. The stock has rallied 12%, comparing unfavorably with the industry’s increase of 18.5% in the period.

We remind investors that the approval in the EU was made on the positive opinion granted by the European Medicine Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use, recommending the approval in November 2017.

While Lilly’s Elanco has exclusive marketing rights to Galliprant globally, it co-promotes the product with Aratana in the United States.

Elanco makes parasiticides, pain and dermatology medicines for food as well as companion animals. Last January, the division acquired German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim’s Vetmedica U.S. pet vaccines unit along with a fully integrated manufacturing and R&D (research and development) site for $885 million.

Notably, Lilly bought the animal-health division of Novartis NVS in early 2015, strengthening the Elanco division of the company. The Elanco segment recorded sales of $740.6 million in third-quarter 2017, up 5% year over year.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Lilly carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the health care sector is Exelixis, Inc. EXEL, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Exelixis’ earnings per share estimates have been revised upward from 72 cents to 73 cents for 2018 over the last 60 days. The company pulled off a positive earnings surprise in each of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 572.92%. Share price of the company has soared 59.8% in a year’s time.

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