Two weeks after Monsanto said it was selling off the business that makes artificial growth hormone for dairy cows, Eli Lily and Company has agreed to pay $300 million to purchase the business, the Associated Press reports. The business makes POSILAC, a controversial hormone that boosts dairy cows'' milk production. Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will purchase assets and liabilities of Monsanto associated with the POSILAC brand and related business for an upfront payment of $300 million, plus additional contingent consideration. The transaction is expected to close near the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2008. Lilly''s animal health division, Elanco, headquartered in Greenfield, Ind., is the seventh-largest animal health company on a global sales basis. Elanco has been marketing the hormone, called recombinant bovine somatotropin, for Monsanto over the last decade outside the United States under a licensing agreement. The sale will allow Monsanto to focus on its core seeds and traits businesses. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993 and sold in the U.S. since 1994, the drug enables cows to produce an additional gallon of milk per day. Critics contend it is bad for cows and may be dangerous for people, but little scientific research supports that. Creve Coeur-based Monsanto Company develops insect- and herbicide-resistant crops and other agricultural products.