Company news: Eli Lilly, Amylin and the AMA

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Eli Lilly and Amylin said they received EU approval for Bydureon, a once weekly version of currently-marketed Byetta, which is given twice daily. US approval for the GLP-1 analog was delayed in October after Lilly said the FDA issued a complete response letter requesting an additional study and data. The companies plan to submit a response in the second half of 2011, likely delaying a regulatory decision until 2012. Bydureon's US delay has benefited Novo Nordisk's currently-marketed once-daily GLP-1, Victoza.

The American Medical Association's membership fell by 5% last year, or by about 12,000 members, the Chicago Tribune reported. Some blame the membership drop, which the AMA disclosed this week during its 2011 House of Delegates meeting, on its support of the health reform law. On Monday the group voted to continue supporting a key plank of the law: individual responsibility for health insurance, the so-called individual mandate. In a statement, AMA president Cecil Wilson, MD, said the 5% dip is "consistent with recent years in which AMA membership decreased about 3%" and that, while some doctors left because they disagreed with the stance, "others joined the AMA because of its support for health reform." In 2010, AMA membership was 215,854 vs. 228,150 in 2009.

Omnicom Group has launched a dedicated Beijing-based business unit for its operations in China. The holding company operates more than 40 agencies in 30 locations throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and boasts coverage in over 130 cities in the region. The unit will be headed by Serge Dumont, who becomes vice chairman of Omnicom Group, reporting to CEO John Wren, and brings 30 years experience working in China to the job.

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