Deal near to save biotech firm?

A Greenwood-based pharmaceutical company is close to reaching a deal that would keep it in business after the city found it in default on $8.4 million in incentives, city officials said.

The city has been in talks with private investors who are willing to provide funding to Elona Biotechnologies so that it can stay open, Mayor Mark Myers said. The company needs private investment so it can continue to pursue U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the generic low-cost insulin that it hopes to sell worldwide.

Elona, the city and a group of investors have been negotiating a deal to keep the company afloat. An agreement is expected to be reached as soon as today, said attorney Wendy Brewer, who’s representing the city in the matter.

Elona and its attorney did not return messages Thursday.

City officials would not go into details about the arrangement that’s being negotiated. In general, an investment group would invest millions of dollars into Elona in exchange for an ownership stake in the company, Brewer said.

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