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[[category:Biotechnology*]] [[category:Biotechnology*]]

Current revision

Elan Corporation (NYSE:ELN) is a biotechnology company that makes drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and severe bacterial infections.[1]

Company Overview

Elan's main revenue generators are now susceptible to generic competition and it has only one product in late-stage clinical trials. The company has admitted that its future depends on whether it can successfully develop and commercialize key pipeline drugs.[2]

Business & Financial Metrics[3]

In 2009, Elan incurred a net loss of $176.2 million on revenues of $1.11 billion. This represents a 148.2% increase in net loss and an 11.2% increase in total revenues from 2008, when the company lost $71.0 million on revenues of $1.00 billion.

Business Segments[4]

Elan Corporation's two business segments are Biopharmaceuticals and EDT.[1]

  • BioNeurology (75.2% of total revenues): The BioNeurology segment develops and commercializes of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, severe chronic pain and infectious diseases.[1] The segment currently has a total of 11 products in clinical development and 6 products that are marketed by either the company or its licensees. Its main products are Tysabri, Maxipime and Azactam (treatments for severe bacterial infection), Prialt (a treatment for sever chronic pain) and Bapineuzumab.[1]
  • EDT (14.3% of total revenues): The EDT segment develops systems to more efficiently deliver drugs to the body and licenses these systems to other pharmaceutical companies.[1] The segment currently has a total 17 products in clinical development and 22 products that are marketed by its licensees. Its main products are TriCor (in partnership with Abbott Laboratories), Ritalin (in partnership with Novartis AG), Rapamune (in partnership with Wyeth) and Emend (in partnership with Merck).[1]

Key Trends & Forces

Safety concerns over key drugs compel Elan Corporation to seek EDT sale

In August 2008, following renewed safety concerns related to Tysabri and Bapineuzumab, Elan Corporation decided to spin off EDT so as to leave the company more focused on its Biopharmaceuticals segment.[5] EDT lists ten out of the world's top twelve pharmaceutical companies among its clients, including Merck & Co., Wyeth and Abbott Laboratories. The company is currently accepting first round bids for EDT and hopes to successfully complete the sale of this unit for as much as $1.4 billion.[5]

Elan Corporation's dependence on collaborators like Biogen Idec and Wyeth

In the development and commercialization of its treatments, Elan Corporation collaborates extensively with other pharmaceutical companies, many of which are its competitors.[2] In fact, the company manufactures none of its four highest revenue generators under the biopharmaceuticals segment.[2] In the case of Bapineuzumab, the company shares all of its research and development costs with Wyeth.[2] In the case of Tysabri, Biogen Idec manufactures and distributes the drug in the European Union and the rest of the world while Elan Corporation buys it from Biogen Idec and distributes it in the United States.[2] Because the company shares both costs and revenues in all of these partnerships, it is bound by and susceptible to changes in the terms of each partnership agreement.


Biogen Idec makes drugs to treat autoimmune diseases, cancer and neurological diseases. The company's most important products are Avonex (a treatment for multiple sclerosis) and Rituxan (a treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.[6]

Merck & Co. is the seventh largest pharmaceutical company in the world by revenue. Although the company makes a wide range of drugs, the bulk of its revenues come from blockbuster products like Singulair (a treatment for asthma), Cozaar (a treatment for hypertension), Fosamax (a treatment for osteoperosis), Gardasil (a vaccine for the human papillomavirus) and ProQuad (a vaccine for measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox).[7]

Novartis AG is the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in the world by revenue..[8] Although the company makes a wide range of drugs, the bulk of its revenues come from blockbuster products like Diovan (a treatment for hypertension), Sandostatin (a treatment for acromegaly), Gleevec and Zometa (treatments for certain types of cancer). In addition, Novartis AG is unique by virtue of its strong presence in the generic drugs market.[8]

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is the world's largest generic drugs manufacturer by revenue. The company also filed more patent challenges than any other generic drugs manufacturer in the same year. Successful challenges gave the company exclusive rights to make patented products, like Zocor and Pravachol (cholesterol-lowering treatments) along with Zoloft and Wellbutrin XL (treatments for depression), for a period of six months.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Operating Review", Page 10, Annual Report (2007), Elan Corporation
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
  3. ELN 2009 20-F pg. 5  
  4. ELN 2009 20-F pg. 115  
  5. 5.0 5.1
  6. 8.0 8.1 "Selected Financial Data", Page 2, Annual Report (2007), Novartis AG

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