Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company will launch a new business group focusing on companion animal health.
The company's scientists have been evaluating its proprietary molecules for use in companion animals over the past seven years. The new business group will produce medicines for dogs and cats under the Lilly brand name.
Lilly made the announcement during the North American Veterinary Conference. The company, which has headquarters in Indianapolis, also announced a $250,000 endowment to the nearby Center for the Human-Animal Bond at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. The gift will fund a series of annual lectures at Purdue and at national veterinary conferences to support veterinarians' understanding of physiologic, psychologic, and sociologic aspects of the human-pet bond.
"Veterinarians are essential allies to the millions of us who experience the human-animal bond," said anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who gave the inaugural Lilly Lectureship address at the NAVC.
Eric Graves, Lilly director of companion animal health, said the company expects to introduce the first products for companion animals within the year—pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration. He said the medicines will address serious conditions that negatively affect both pet health and the human-pet bond.
Lilly's division for food animals, Elanco Animal Health, has existed since 1954.