GE Healthcare has announced plans to expand a cancer drug research partnership with Eli Lilly & Co, making a two-year-old partnership official in the process.
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt also said the health care unit will set aside £150 million for investments in partnerships with health care information technology and diagnostics companies. In addition, the company purchased certain assets of privately held magnetic resonance imaging scanner maker ONI Medical Systems Inc.
GE said ONI’s products are designed to scan the extremities rather than a patient’s entire body. The deal, terms of which were undisclosed, is expected to close before the end of 2009.
GE said it plans to rework its US employee health care plan to emphasise preventative care, the first such changes to the benefit plan in more than 20 years. GE said it will improve access to fitness centres and offer rewards for healthy lifestyle choices. Other companies have instituted similar plans, but GE could be the largest, as the change will apply to all 75,000 of its salaried US employees.
The collaboration with Eli Lilly is focused on scanning cancer cells to determine which drugs will and won’t work by reading proteins in tumours.
Copyright Press Association 2009