Lilly and ICOS, a 16-year-old company, have been partners since 1998 in Lilly ICOS LLC, a joint venture that makes and sells erectile dysfunction drug Cialis.
Cialis, which generated global sales of $456 million in the first half of this year, owns more than 25 percent of the erectile dysfunction market in the United States and is the sales leader in France and Brazil.
The board of directors of ICOS voted unanimously to approve the merger deal and to recommend that its shareholders approve the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in late 2006 or early 2007.
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