Scientists at a small pharmaceutical lab in a Greenwood office park labored for years on a generic version of insulin and came up with a product they hoped would change the world.
Elona Biotechnologies developed a new way to make insulin that they said was faster and less expensive. The company hoped to undercut big pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Co. on price and to make the drug that diabetics need to regulate their blood sugar more accessible worldwide.
Elona’s owners eyed a multibillion-dollar global market and talked of making diabetes care affordable in Mexico and developing countries. The family-run business had big plans: $25.7 million in investment in a new production facility, 70 jobs, and an anchor that would attract other pharmaceutical firms to Greenwood and make it a small hub in the biotechnology industry.