Fish vaccine manufacturer Elanco is to separate from Eli Lilly. Stock photo: Salmon Expert.

Elanco to be split off from parent company Lilly

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly is to spin off its Elanco Animal Health business, the US company said in a statement today.

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Jeffrey Simmons: "We are prepared to take this step."

It will offer shares in aquaculture medicines provider Elanco and keep a stake of less than 20%.

Elanco manufactures pancreas disease vaccine Clynav, which became the first DNA animal vaccine to be used in Europe following its approval by the European Commission in June 2017.

“Based on our strategic review, we concluded that after-tax value for Lilly shareholders would be maximised by pursuing an initial public offering of Elanco,” said David A Ricks, Lilly's chairman and chief executive.  “We believe this will allow Elanco to efficiently deploy its resources to those growth opportunities that best serve its customers. In addition, this will provide Lilly even greater focus on the human pharmaceutical business to pursue our purpose of creating life-changing medicines for patients.”

Six decades of expertise

“With more than six decades of expertise in animal health, we are prepared to take this step to become an independent company,” said Jeffrey Simmons, president of Elanco Animal Health.

“With a sole focus on animal health, we will help our customers address the greatest challenges of keeping animals healthy, and together advance a vision of food and companionship enriching life.”

Clynav was approved by the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NoMA) in July 2017, although the agency expressed its desire that Clynav should be used only in field trials to begin with, rather than going straight into general use.

The vaccine, which is not yet available in the UK, was used on more than 400,000 fish in Norway in February.