The chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) says a $5.4 billion play for Novartis Animal Health will take its Greenfield-based Elanco unit “to the next level.” John Lechleiter tells Inside INdiana Business the combination creating the world's second-largest animal health company will make Elanco a more prominent player in emerging markets around the globe and further help Lilly through a period of difficult patent expirations. Elanco President Jeff Simmons tells Inside INdiana Business the deal helps Elanco and Lilly better serve emerging needs throughout the world.

Elanco has been a growth engine for Lilly as the company has worked its way through an unprecedented period of patent expirations.

Post-deal, Elanco is expected to generate about 20 percent of Lilly's overall revenues.

Since 2007, Lechleiter says Elanco's sales have doubled and its profits have tripled.

Elanco's headquarters and central research and development operations are in Greenfield. The company also has a major manufacturing operation in Vermillion County, near Clinton.

“This will continue to be out headquarters location and we will continue to have a sizeable presence in central Indiana,” said Lechleiter. “This acquisition can only help bolster the strong economic footprint that Elanco provides.”

Source: Eli Lilly and Co.

Story Continues Below