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The Associated Press April 26, 2011, 1:21PM ET

Medtronic, Eli Lilly collaborate on Parkinson's

Medical device maker Medtronic and drugmaker Eli Lilly said Tuesday they will collaborate on an implantable drug delivery system to treat Parkinson's disease, the debilitating brain disorder that causes tremors and movement problems.

The collaboration will aim to combine a Lilly drug called glial cell derived neurotrophic factor with Medtronic's drug infusion technology.

Medtronic, the world's largest medical device maker, already markets drug pumps that deliver chemotherapy and chronic pain treatments. The companies plan to develop a device that will deliver Lilly's drug to targeted areas of the brain.

"By collaborating with Medtronic from the earliest phase of research, we are maximizing the potential for this therapy's efficient and effective development," said Michael Hutton, Lilly's chief scientist for neurodegeneration.

Parkinson's disease affects an estimated 7 million to 10 million people worldwide. The disease has no cure.

Shares of Medtronic Inc., based in Minneapolis, rose 69 cents to $41.27. Shares of Eli Lilly & Co., based in Indianapolis, rose 29 cents to $36.52.

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