Elanco Makes Major Acquisition

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Elanco is headquartered in Greenfield. Elanco is headquartered in Greenfield.

Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) is adding to its portfolio with a major acquisition. The company has announced plans to acquire Kansas-based Aratana Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PETX) in a deal valued at up to $245 million. In conjunction with the acquisition, Elanco has also announced the formation of a commercial team dedicated to the veterinary specialty business.

Elanco says the deal would allow it to integrate the Aratana portfolio of pet therapeutics into its companion animal therapeutics business. The company says, if the acquisition is completed, Aratana's portfolio would "significantly benefit" from Elanco's broader on-the-ground presence in the U.S.

"This proposed transaction acknowledges Aratana's contribution of pet therapeutics to the animal health industry, specifically recognizing our strong track-record as a drug developer and our field team's unmatched expertise delivering innovation to veterinary specialists," Craig Tooman, chief executive officer of Aratana, said in a news release. "As a newly independent, premier animal health company, we believe that Elanco would help expand our portfolio with their substantial resources and presence within the companion animal segment."

Elanco did not specify whether any jobs would be affected, with the exception that Aratana's field force would transition into the new commercial team.

The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the Aratana board of directors. The deal remains subject to approval by Aratana stockholders, as well as regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Additionally, Elanco has announced it has signed a development and commercialization agreement with VetDC in Colorado for Tanovea-CA1, which is the first canine lymphoma treatment that has been conditionally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“These agreements and the dedicated focus on the veterinary specialty sector fit perfectly into our overall strategic plan, furthering Elanco’s focus on companion animal therapy and better positioning us to capitalize on key underlying market fundamentals,” said Jeff Simmons, CEO of Elanco. “Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, such as parasiticides and vaccines, pets are living longer and experience many of the same diseases of aging as humans, including arthritis and cancer. Further, consumers have an increasing expectation of care for these ailments. Our actions today enable us to take another step forward in fulfilling the needs of pet owners worldwide as they help their pets live longer, healthier, higher-quality lives.”

The acquisition is the first for Elanco since it was spun off from Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) as an independent, publicly-traded company.

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