November 16, 2018 / 12:58 PM / a year ago

Eli Lilly considers sale of off-patent drug assets in China: Bloomberg

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Lilly is seen on a wall of the Lilly France company unit, part of the Eli Lilly and Co drugmaker group, in Fegersheim near Strasbourg, France, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) is considering the sale of an off-patent drugs portfolio in China, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing sources.

The assets, which include antibiotics and treatments for central nerve diseases, could fetch between $200 million and $300 million and attract interest from companies in Asia, Bloomberg reported.

A spokesman for Lilly declined to comment.

U.S.-based Lilly, which took its Elanco animal health unit public in September, has been refocusing on high-growth areas such as cancer as well as maintaining its leadership position in the diabetes market to drive growth as older treatments face increasing competition.

The company late last month bought a stake in gene-silencing drug firm Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc (DRNA.O), and has bought cancer specialists such as AurKa Pharma Inc and Armo Biosciences ARMO.O earlier this year.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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